West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has sought assurances from the Environment Agency and Government about the future of local flood pumps.
There remains concern about the five flood pumps in the Alt Crossens catchment which serve and protect the West Lancashire area from flooding.
The EA gave notice of its intention to cease operating these pumps back in 2015, but this notice has been extended pending resolution of legislative problems which prevent the formation of a local water management board. The latest extension runs until 31 March 2021.
With flooding incidents continuing in West Lancashire while the pumps remain in operation, MP Rosie has raised concern that there may still be intention to cease operation which could only exacerbate the current situation.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“We’ve seen again parts of West Lancashire and particularly Burscough flooding in recent weeks and that is even with the continued operation of the five flood pumps.
“I and many residents fear that should the notice for the Environment Agency to cease operation of these pumps be followed through on that homes, businesses and agricultural farmland could all be subject to increased flooding.
“I have received an interim update from the EA to say they will continue to operate the pumps until legislation is passed allowing for the formation of a local water management board, but would then seek to transfer ownership and operation to the newly formed body.
“I have written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs seeking a detailed update on the flood pump situation here in West Lancashire and asking what progress has been made to bring through the required legislation.
“Failure to address the future drainage and water management arrangements, will mean that when those pumps are turned off, agricultural land and residents’ homes in the Alt Crossens area is at the mercy of the weather.
“We can’t have food producing land waterlogged again, more homes at risk and homes that have been flooded facing increased risk and incidents. There needs to be some progress.”