Lewes MP, Norman Baker, has criticised the Environment Agency's recent announcement that there will be a further delay before any substantial new flood defences in Lewes are constructed. And the MP, once again, has highlighted the inadequacy of the proposed flood defence scheme as a whole.
Not only does a £600,000 shortfall in what councils are able to spend on flood defences means that work in the Malling area has now been delayed for a further six months later than expected, but the three other quadrants of Lewes town that were badly hit by the floods, including Cliffe High Street, are still left without funding for flood defences. To make matters even worse, the risk of flooding in these three quadrants may even by marginally increased when the Malling defences are complete.
Norman Baker has initiated four House of Commons debates on the issue of flooding in Lewes, posed over 24 questions to the Government, regularly met with Ministers in person to stress the fundamental need for comprehensive flood defences and raised the issue on countless other occasions in the House of Commons. He has also been elected Vice Chairman of the All-Party Group on Flooding.
Speaking about the recent announcement Norman Baker said:
"Though I acknowledge that it is positive that some funding has finally been guaranteed for the Malling area this proposal is, quite simply, insufficient, to protect the town from possible future floods. The idea of dealing with flood defences in cells is divisive and nonsensical and I have continually pushed for a move away from this cell culture to a common community defence standard for the whole town.
"I have continually stressed to Ministers that is invidious and inappropriate to have a cell culture, particularly if, by providing defences in one part of Lewes, the risk in other parts is increased. Lewes is an historic and special town, recognised by the Government as one of the top 50 towns in the country for urban environment. We must have a townwide solution because the people of Lewes must not be forced to live with the constant fear of flooding."
Contact Norman at:
23 East Street,
Tel: (01273) 480281.
Fax: (01273) 480287.
Printed and hosted by Pipex Communications UK Ltd, Humber Buildings, Humber Rd, Beeston, Notts, NG9 2ET. Published and promoted by Norman Baker MP, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 1AA. The views expressed are those of Norman Baker, not of the service provider.