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North Yorkshire MP debates Floods and Water Management


12:01am 8th September 2011

A North Yorkshire MP's calling for improved maintenance of local waterways.

Anne McIntosh says it's "wrong" places like Cod Beck near Thirsk aren't regularly revamped.

She believes this "undoubtedly" has contributed to the area flooding in recent years.

Ms McIntosh is also calling for sustainable drainage systems to be installed.

North Yorkshire MP Miss McIntosh said:

"I am delighted that the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has secured this debate and I am pleased to be opening it.

"We want to ensure all the action following the Pitt review and 2010 Floods and Water Management Act is implemented and ensure there is regular maintenance of all water courses.

"I believe Internal Drainage Boards should be allowed to play a greater role, using their resources and their engineers, in flood protection work, agreeing an annual programme of maintenance with the Environment Agency for main water courses.

"It is quite wrong that main water courses like Cod Beck near Thirsk have not had any regular maintenance for over ten years, which undoubtedly can contribute to the possibility of flooding.

"The Floods and Water Management Act encourages the uptake of sustainable drainage systems by removing the automatic right to connect to sewers and providing for unitary and county councils to adopt Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems for new developments and redevelopments.

"I support the development of SUDS for new properties and their retro- fitting where feasible, however I would welcome further work on ownership and funding for SUDS, including the extent of the potential for local authorities to recover costs from developers.

"The first National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy was submitted for the first time in May this year. I very much welcome the strategy as this takes forward a number of recommendations made by Sir Michael Pitt in his review of the 2007 floods. 

"These include giving the Environment Agency a strategic overview role of all sources of flood risk and formalising the roles and responsibilities for Government, local authorities, emergency services and community groups.

"Finding the funding necessary for flood protection works will be challenging in the light of budgetary constraints and while national funding will continue to be important, local and other funding will have to play an increasing role in meeting local flood risk management priorities.

"The Government has pledged to fund a major improvement in national flood   defences and coastal erosion management, defending 145,000 homes.

"Insurance continues to be a significant issue. There is an urgent need for the Government to reach an agreement with the insurance industry on the provision of insurance to millions of homes since the current Statement of Principles will expire in 2013."

"Balancing development pressure, flood risk protection and environmental aims will continue to be difficult, particularly in light of the potentially significant impacts of climate change.

"New measures introduced by the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 should help to deliver a more coordinated approach, although challenging decisions about which flood protection measures should be funded will remain".

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