Extension of appointments to the Drainage Council for Northern Ireland

Date published: 02 March 2021

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced that the appointment term of three of the members of the Drainage Council for Northern Ireland has been extended.

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The extensions for Professor Alan Strong, Andrew Wilson and Brendan Kerr are effective from 1 May up to the 30 June 2021.

Minister Mallon said:

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Alan, Andrew and Brendan for their continued contribution to the Drainage Council.” 

The extensions have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Drainage Council is an independent advisory body, responsible for providing a general scrutiny role in relation to the Department for Infrastructure’s drainage functions. It has a statutory duty to ensure uniformity of treatment on drainage issues throughout Northern Ireland.
  2. The Drainage Council for Northern Ireland currently has a membership of ten local Councillor Members, three Non-Executive Members and two DfI representatives.
  3. Members of the Drainage Council can claim travel expenses reasonably incurred on Drainage Council business but receive no other remuneration for their work.
  4. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Professor Strong, Mr Wilson and Mr Kerr have confirmed that they have not undertaken any political activity.
  5. The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) does not reappoint members to a second term without competition. These are extensions rather than reappointments.
  6. A recruitment process to appoint six Non-Executive Members is underway. Appointees will be selected from the specialist areas of: Tourism, Drainage, Agriculture, Industry, Conservation and Fisheries.
  7. Professor Alan Strong MBE, represents the drainage specialism. He is a Visiting Professor in Civil Engineering at University of Ulster, Smart Region Collaborative Officer at South West College, and has Board appointments with the NI Commonwealth Games Council, Methodist College Belfast and at Brunel University. In his professional career, Professor Strong has overseen significant hydrological research and has led and designed flood prevention schemes. He conducted a comprehensive Review of the 2015/16 Winter Flooding in Northern Ireland.  Professor Strong has been a member of the Drainage Council from 3 December 2015.
  8. Mr Andrew Wilson represents agricultural interests. Mr Wilson is a full-time farmer in County Fermanagh. He is on the Board of the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU), representing County Fermanagh, and was the County Chairperson of UFU in Fermanagh. He currently represents the agricultural industry on the Lough Erne Liaison Committee. Mr Wilson has been a member of the Drainage Council from 15 December 2012.
  9. Mr Brendan Kerr, represents fisheries interests. Mr Kerr is Vice-Chairperson of Ballycastle Angling Club and is a fully qualified Game Angling Instructor. Mr Kerr is a consultant with Natural Living Assets and has worked for Agri-Food and Bio-Sciences Institute (AFBI) on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Inland Fisheries Division. He has conducted electro-fishing surveys for AFBI and prepared water samples for chemical analysis on behalf of DAERA. Mr Kerr has been a member of the Drainage Council from 15 December 2012.
  10. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk
  11. The Executive Information Service operates and out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800 hours and 8.00 hours Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays.  The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.   
  12. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra a.nd on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

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