Hull and East Riding MPs to focus on flood defences in 2016

Published: Thursday 31st December 2015 by KCFM

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Hull and East Riding MPs have revealed that bolstering flood defences will be their priority in 2016.

A £1.28billion Humber flood defence scheme was rejected by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, but Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson says it is important the scheme goes ahead.

He said: “If we don’t tackle this problem right up the Humber, right even up as far as the Ouse and the Trent, up past the Isle of Axholme, then the whole economy here is going to be damaged; so we really have got to get to the bottom of this. That will be our priority going into 2016.”

Mr Johnson insists the devastation caused by flooding would be more than the cost of the flood protection.

He said: “The alternative of the destruction that could be caused is much more expensive but could also involve loss of life. So we’re puzzled as to why, having secured that, the Government now seems to have changed its mind and changed its mind because of Environment Agency advice. Well the Environment Agency was part of the plan we put forward, so we need to get to the bottom of that.”

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart says the initial rejection of the flood plans was a “blow” to the region but he will meet with Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss in an effort to strike a deal.

He said: “She is committed, the Government is committed to finding an approach to defence in the Humber which is both financially viable and technically viable from a flooding point of view.

“I think we’ve just got to keep working at it and if we do that, then we’ll come up with something which can be delivered.”

Goole and Brigg MP Andrew Percy insists the region still benefits from major investment in flood defences.

He said: “We’ve already got tens of millions of pounds of improvements so there is massive investment continuing.

“When you have an incredible rainfall event or incredible set of weather circumstances it is perfectly possible that even the very best of defences can be overwhelmed by them.”

Read more local and national news on HEY Today

KCFM

Published: Thursday 31st December 2015 by KCFM

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