Calls for MP to back flood action

Calls for MP to back flood action

Bassetlaw District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Energy is calling on the Bassetlaw MP for an urgent meeting to discuss the increased threat of flooding that now faces our district and support a coordinated response at all levels of Government.

The request comes after Bassetlaw Councillors and Officers met with senior regional and national officials from the Environment Agency, including their Chief Executive, to discuss the potential of future funding, and the mitigation measures that urgently need to be put in place to prevent flooding in parts of Bassetlaw that are being threatened more frequently.

In June 2021, Bassetlaw was set to receive £710,000 for the Retford Beck Flood Mitigation Scheme, which has subsequently been withdrawn, despite £250,000 being allocated by Bassetlaw District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council promising £170,000 towards the work.

A total of £27m worth of schemes have been proposed for Bassetlaw, but very few are progressing because of HM Treasury rules on funding for flood mitigation schemes, which mean that the Government does not believe the total cost of funding a scheme matches up to the economic benefit for the area.

Cllr Darrell Pulk is now calling on Bassetlaw’s MP, Brendan Clarke-Smith to help persuade the Government to change funding approaches to enable local flood mitigation schemes in Retford and Worksop, and across Bassetlaw to proceed.

“Based on the record rainfall and flooding that we saw in October this year, and the threat of more flooding in recent weeks, it is clear that the need for this scheme, and others like it, are in need of mitigation works to protect the homes and businesses of local people against future flooding events,” said Cllr Pulk.

“I have twice written to our MP in June and November, with follow-up emails in July and September, seeking a meeting as a matter of urgency. Following our discussions with the Environment Agency last week, it is imperative that we discuss how we can work together to access the funding necessary to prevent future flooding in our district, especially knowing that Environment Agency teams cannot guarantee future investment without reforms to the current funding rules.

“Our MP is yet to respond to my letters or emails, or put forward possible dates for a meeting. The people of Bassetlaw want to know that we are doing everything possible to secure the funding required.

“I would like to publicly invite the MP to work with us on a co-ordinated approach that asks Government departments to rethink their approach, including revisiting schemes that have previously failed to meet target thresholds. This is a top priority for everyone locally and I hope that this will be reflected with cross-party working that can promote a consistent message at all levels of Government. We deserve better than to be ignored.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to work with Nottinghamshire County Council as the Lead Flood Authority to help communities to prepare for any further threats of flooding, including keep flood resilience stores in key locations fully stocked and available for communities that may need them in future weeks.”

 

Pictured is Cllr Darrell Pulk, Cabinet Member for Environment and Energy.


Last Updated on Wednesday, January 10, 2024