MP Rosie Cooper has slammed West Lancashire Borough Council for recommending that the Council take no action to support residents in protecting their homes against flooding.
The Flooding/Drainage Roles and Responsibilities within West Lancashire report is to be debated at a council meeting on Wednesday 19th December 2012.
The report identifies there are funds are available from the Environment Agency to help residents install measures to prepare their homes to minimise flooding damage. To access the funding it requires the setting-up of a local flood action community group involving local residents supported by the Borough Council. This group would then develop a property-level grant funding bid to be submitted to the Environment Agency. This funding could then be used to help with the cost of flood prevention measures such as airbrick covers, floodgates to go in door frames to make homes more water tight and sandbag alternatives.
The Council’s report states ‘additional technical resources would need to be made available...and is therefore not recommended at this time.’
MP Rosie said in response to the report:
“I am absolutely outraged that once again West Lancashire Borough Council is refusing to help local residents. In September when people’s homes were devastated by the flooding, the Council’s response was to tell residents they had to protect their own properties. Now the Council is saying they are prepared to continue to stand by and do nothing. They are prepared to leave people at risk of being flooded again in the future, rather than help protect their homes.
“The last figures I saw the Conservative-run Council had £17 million in reserves yet it appears they are unwilling to help residents at a time of need. There are people still living in temporary accommodation after the last flooding incidents. If the Council actually cared they would be working hard to ensure everything was being done to limit the misery and devastation of any future flooding on people’s homes.
“I truly wonder what this council is for? At a time when residents need their help the Council has turned its back on them. The Council should be ashamed of themselves.”
Following the Council report Rosie has written to the Environment Agency to call a meeting to set-up a local flood action community group. She is looking to hold a meeting with residents in early January 2013. Rosie has also written to constituents at risk of flooding inviting them to get involved.
Rosie Cooper continued:
“If the Council are unwilling to help these residents then I will continue to do everything I can. If there is help available then why should residents have to lose out because of the Council’s unwillingness to get involved?
“In the meantime I’ve produced a Flood Risk Advice Guide. Residents across West Lancashire are now getting these leaflets through their doors. It offers information on useful contacts in an emergency, advice on flood insurance, what steps you can take if you’re at risk of flooding and how you can be kept informed if you are at risk of flooding.
“If any resident would like a copy of this advice booklet they can call my office on 01695 570094 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."