Councillors back Environment Agency report

PUBLISHED: 15:22 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:22 06 March 2018

Great Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment Agency

Great Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment Agency

Archant

More than 1,000 homes could be at risk in the Fens following a billion pound flood management scheme, councillors have warned.

Great Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment AgencyGreat Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment Agency

It comes as the Environment Agency published the ‘Great Ouse Tidal River Baseline Report’ with fears that its findings have ‘important implications’ affecting the Downham Villages Ward.

The Environment Agency estimates a £1bn shortfall to protect the Fens.

East Cambridgeshire District Council has now agreed to back the Environment Agency in its case to government.

In a motion put forward at a council meeting last month, concerns were raised that 1200 homes were at ‘serious risk’ if there was to be a North Sea surge or the breaching of the Southern Level Barrier Bank.

Great Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment AgencyGreat Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment Agency

The motion, put forward by Councillor Mike Bradley and seconded by Councillor Anna Bailey, stated: “The Environment Agency has recently published the ‘Great Ouse Tidal River Baseline Report’ and its findings have important implications for our community especially affecting the Downham Villages Ward.

“There are approximately 1200 homes at serious risk if there is a North Sea surge or the breaching of the Southern Level Barrier Bank.

“The Environment Agency estimate a £1bn shortfall to protect the fens and its source of funding competes with IDB’s who have their own essential infrastructure priorities.”

“It will be important for this Council to stand alongside the environment.”

Great Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment AgencyGreat Ouse Tidal River System. Credit: Environment Agency

It was also announced that Councillor Bradley will be appointed as Member Champion for Flood Prevention.

He added: “I am thrilled that councillors unanimously have come together to show a united front so that East Cambs District Council will give our residents a voice and I am proud to be the lead on behalf of the Council to help the Environment Agency promote the serious risk of flooding in the Fens, especially the Downham Villages ward.”

Paul Burrows, environment agency flood risk manager, said he was ‘delighted’ with Councillor Bradley’s involvement.

He explained: “His advice, experience and passion will be invaluable as we work together with our partners on the long-term challenges and opportunities to ensure flood risk management in the fens is fit for the future.”

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