WE could only watch helplessly last week as the heavens opened and flash flooding wreaked havoc across the city.

Homes and cars were abandoned as torrential rainfall destroyed properties, with bills running into thousands of pounds for those worse affected.

As people and the relevant government agencies set about clearing up the aftermath, questions were raised as to whether a water charge – which residents in the North do not pay – and the revenue that would be raised from it would go some way to enabling essential infrastructure work so that the scenes of last week might not be repeated.

To find out your thoughts on the matter, the Andersonstown News paid a visit to the Kennedy Centre to hear your opinion on the much-debated additional charge.

Stephanie Bradley from the Falls Road told us: “Personally I don’t think bringing in water charges will help with flash floods in the long run – I can’t see that charge making any difference to what happened with the flooding last week.”

Charles Doherty agreed with Stephanie. He said simply: “No, no way to water charges.”

“I would say no to water charges,” said Blacks Road resident John Kerr. “We pay our rates so that should be enough to cover what is needed in terms of better infrastructure.”

“I’m lucky that I wasn’t affected,” we were told by  Andersonstown’s Teresa Cosgrove. “I would say no to a water charge but there is no doubt more needs to be done when there is such heavy downpours and flooding.”

Conor Rise resident Trudi Timmons said: “I wasn’t affected by the bad floods but I wouldn’t agree with a water charge – we pay enough taxes.”

Opinion in the Kennedy Centre was made unanimous as Fruithill Fold resident Peggy McAllister told us: “I live on the first floor of the fold so I wasn’t affected when the heavy rain came – but I would say no to water charges, I think we pay enough.”

See flooding reports and pics on pages 12-15

River of mud rolled down the street

Water filled street in minutes flowing over garden walls’

Where were the sandbags?

Victims’ no-insurance nightmare

Tears follow the flooding