Flooding Funding: Letter to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Thérèse Coffey MP, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Two years have elapsed since the devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015. In the intervening period the local council and Environment Agency have been working hard to produce a fully costed flood defence scheme for Radcliffe. The only barrier now is the money needed to deliver this scheme.
I have therefore put my name to a letter with Council Leader Rishi Shori to meet the new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, Thérèse Coffey MP to lobby for the necessary investment.
Flooding Funding – request for a meeting with delegates from Bury & Rochdale
Boxing Day 2015 saw parts of Greater Manchester subject to widespread flooding as a result of Storm Eva. Bury and Rochdale encountered flooding unlike any previous incidents in these boroughs. Over 670 properties flooded in Redvales and Radcliffe in Bury, which includes areas within the top 1% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. Over 1,100 properties in the two boroughs encountered flooding. 37 of the 44 river level gauges in the River Irwell, Roch and Croal catchments recorded their highest ever level.
Many of our residents are still traumatised by these events and rightly want to ensure action is taken to mitigate such an occurrence happening again. We are sure that you would agree that it is in everybody’s interest to progress schemes to provide resilience and enable safe and supported communities. We believe that progress is best made through joint working, hence this correspondence including representatives from both our boroughs.
We are writing to you today to request a meeting with yourself, in your role of as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State with responsibilities including flooding, to discuss the funding gap that exists in schemes developed with the Environment Agency. The current Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA), calculated through the amount of damage of any flood event, is currently insufficient in meeting the cost of adequate protection. Bury Council has agreed to contribute £2m to the cost of flood prevention measures but has been met with volatile cost estimates of the scheme, increasing from £9m pre-2015 up as high as £45m in later estimates. Action is needed to address the funding gap.
There is a need for schemes to be delivered at the earliest opportunity to safeguard our residents and we are keen to discuss this with you as a matter of high importance, in terms of ensuring a fair allocation of any flood protection and prevention funding, including that identified to address funding gaps and in particular those that relate to deprived communities. As such we would be grateful if you could let us know of a suitable date for us to meet you on this matter.
Ivan Lewis MP for Bury South