West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has said that it is time for answers to the flooding problems and it is time for action after homes and farm land across West Lancashire were once again devastated by flooding over Christmas.
MP Rosie is deeply angered that after the floods of 2012, it is clear lessons have not been learnt and the situation faces getting worse with government funding cuts that will see five satellite drainage pumps turned off in 2017 with no agreement for future drainage arrangements in sight.
Rosie has been contacted by residents across West Lancashire detailing their individual experiences of flooding with many including pictures of roads, fields, streets that had disappeared under the high flood waters.
Rosie Cooper said:
“My heart goes out to every West Lancashire resident who has been affected by flooding over the Christmas period. Flood water causes considerable damage in a short time yet takes significantly longer to repair the damage.
“After the latest flooding that has wreaked havoc on people’s homes, farmland and entire communities here in West Lancashire it is time the government took action to better protect residents here and across the country.
“The Government can’t talk of its concern about flooding whilst trying to ignore the effects of their own actions in cutting the budgets of local councils, police, fire service and organisations like the Environment Agency which in this case, forces them to give notice that they will turn off satellite drainage pumps across West Lancashire. Having been responsible for causing the Environment Agency to take this decision, the Government has refused all calls to help with the costs of setting up an Internal Drainage Board.
“Back in November I called for action to progress establishing an internal drainage board for the Alt-Crossens area, which covers West Lancashire, as all the relevant agencies have reached a stalemate.
“We simply cannot have a stalemate where each agency, council and the Government point fingers at each other because they themselves don’t have to endure the human misery and personal cost of homes, of businesses being flooded and produce lost as farmer’s fields are under water.
“This Christmas flooding should be enough motivation to get round a table and reach an agreement. I implore everyone to get round the table urgently,we simply cannot have this happen again.
“We have to recognise that this flooding happened with the pumps working. Besides retaining the satellite pumps, we need additional investment to tackle flooding in this area.
“It is not enough for government to go on about the severity of the rainfall. We’ve all heard the ‘once in a hundred year’s’ line frequently but it is happening with much greater regularity and growing severity. We need a commitment to tackle flooding problems which requires investment and a promise from the Prime Minister that he won’t make things worse by allowing the Alt Crossens pumps to be switched off.
“It appears there are still issues about co-ordinated responses to the flooding, residents not knowing where to turn or in some cases not receiving any help when they needed it. This was one of the main problems in 2012 and a lesson that has not been learnt. Agencies were stretched across the County and weren’t available locally when needed. Who is responsible for helping residents get sandbags to protect their homes??
“Surely it is cheaper for everyone to invest in preventing flooding than keep paying the costs to repair the damage done by flood waters, not even considering the human misery which leaves people out of their homes for many months and businesses destroyed.”
“Government needs to act now and be clear what resources are available.”
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has written to the Prime Minister and Ministers at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to call for investment and action to prevent flooding in West Lancashire in the future.
MP Rosie is seeking action on a solution to the future management of drainage and water pumps in Alt-Crossens. Previously DEFRA ministers have refused to support the funding of a Special Levy as a contribution to the costs of creating an internal drainage board.