11 Dec 2008 17:00:46

Graham Stuart calls for better flood defences for the Rivers Humber and Hull

Graham_stuart_mpBeverley and Holdness MP Graham Stuart secured a debate on the flood risk to the River Hull and River Humber. Herewith some extracts:

"In 2005, the “Planning for the Rising Tides” document was published and in March 2007 funding for the first 25 years of work, estimated at about £323 million, was approved by the Government. That formed the basis for the Humber flood risk management strategy that was published at the beginning of this year. In the strategy, the Environment Agency boasts that 99 per cent. of people living around the estuary will continue to receive a good standard of protection from tidal flooding. That means that the defences surrounding their homes and businesses will be maintained.

Most of those defended, of course, are in the densely populated towns and cities, but a huge section of land on either side of the river will be left without defence. Some 11,500 hectares—more than 28,000 acres—in the east riding of Yorkshire alone will be abandoned. More than 2,000 homes around the estuary will be abandoned, including 1,000 in the east riding. A large number of those homes are in the South West and South East Holderness wards of my constituency. According to the Environment Agency, 668 properties will be lost in the Sunk Island area, 62 will go in the village of Kilnsea and 10 will go in the village of Skeffling. The precise nature of that abandonment has been set out in the strategy. When the Environment Agency has decided that it cannot afford to fund improvement work to a defence, it will simply stop maintaining it."

Mr Stuart also talked about the River Hull:

"I shall speak now about the River Hull flood risk management strategy. The agency has been working on the strategy for a number of years. It has concluded that in the upper level of the River Hull catchment, it can no longer justify the existing defences. It wants to cease to provide the pumping stations which for many years have provided security and protection to my constituents and those of my right hon. Friend. There is enormous concern among local people about the threat to homes and land. We all recognise that urban areas must take priority over rural areas, but we want decent protection for all."

(The agency in question is the Environment Agency.)

Mr Stuart is to be commended for raising these issues.