Ulster Unionist Councillor and upcoming Council candidate for Erne East, Victor Warrington, has said that the Department of Infrastructure’s decision to replace a bridge on the outskirts of Lisnaskea will be “devastating to the business community in the area”.

Councillor Warrington said that the Department should learn from past experience and consult at an earlier stage those who will be impacted by works.

“It is positive that DfI Roads are planning such a significant scheme, the problem is that the planned work is due to commence in just two weeks’ time, giving the businesses no realistic time to make preparations for their trade and customers.”

The SDLP’s Garbhan McPhillips has hit out after he was refused entry to a meeting on the issue in Lisnaskea on Tuesday. He said: “Today’s public meeting with regards to works to Majors Bridge, a meeting which I along with other councillors was refused entry. A decision I wasn’t happy with but respect. Over the last few days, I have been contacted by several businesses and residents voicing their concerns about the disruption the current plan would have on the local businesses, facilities and residents.

“For the record I totally understand that the work has to be done and am supportive of this work. I simply wanted to attend today’s meeting not only as a public representative, representing the people of my constituency, but as a resident also. The work to the bridge is a must and needs to be done.

“The departments plan and their procedures to date are simply not good enough. To give businesses and people three weeks notice for the start of such a job is simply not good enough.

“I have concerns and was there to represent the people of Lisnaskea and the surrounding areas. I eagerly await to hear the outcome of today’s meeting.

Councillor Warrington and Mr. McPhillips are two of ten candidates running in Erne East. Two independents will run in the shape of John McCluskey and Caroline Wheeler.

Former Sinn Fein Gerry McHugh will make a bid to return to front line politics when he runs for new formed party Aontú.

Sinn Fein will run four candidates with current councillors Sheamus Greene, Thomas O’Reilly and Brian McCaffrey being joined on the ticket by Noeleen Hayes.

The DUP will run one candidate in the shape of current councillor Paul Robinson.