Northern Ireland

NI Water decision won't be rushed - Danny Kennedy

Trevor Haslett
Image caption Trevor Haslett may now remain in his post as head of NI Water

The regional development minister has said he will not be "stampeded" into a decision over a new contract for the chief executive of NI Water.

Trevor Haslett is understood to have reversed his plans to resign and hopes to stay at the company.

Acting chief executive Mr Haslett wanted security of tenure with a two-year contract and a £20,000 pay rise.

That has been approved by the company, but Mr Kennedy and Finance Minister Sammy Wilson have the final say.

Mr Kennedy said he was "not going to be stampeded, I'm not going to be rushed".

"I need to give that careful assessment and I will also want to consult with my ministerial colleagues," he added.

"I'm going to take decisions that are in the best interests, I believe, of Northern Ireland Water

"I think the important is that we maintain the stability that Northern Ireland Water needs at this time as we approach the winter.

"I think Trevor Haslett has made a significant contribution to maintaining that stability."

Mr Haslett had told the publicly-owned company that he intended to go last week.

Northern Ireland Water confirmed this position on Wednesday, then on Thursday said no resignation letter had been received.

It is clear that negotiations continued at the company and with the Department for Regional Development, which is the company's sole shareholder on the public's behalf.

A spokesman for the department said: "The chair of NI Water has put proposals to DRD about his chief executive's terms and conditions.

"Under NI Water's governance arrangements such proposals have to be approved by DRD and DFP.

"This is the normal approval process."

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