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Gwent Wetlands

Volume 174: debated on Monday 18 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he will be taking to prevent flooding on the Gwent wetlands.

This is the responsibility of the National Rivers Authority and I understand that the matter is being given due consideration.

Does the Minister realise that on the same day as the terrible floods at Towyn there was serious flooding in my constituency at Peterstone and St. Bride's where the sea overtopped the sea wall, and at Caerleon and Newport? In view of the certainty of global warming raising sea levels, and because the area has many fine homes and new high technology enterprises, will he guarantee that in the future the area will be fully protected by new flood defences?

I am well aware of the public concern and I think that the hon. Gentleman knows that the National Rivers Authority is carrying out emergency repairs in the area. The Department has already indicated that grant aid will be available. The Department also recently met the authority to discuss further proposed improvement to the existing defences of the Gwent wetlands. As I am sure that the hon. Gentleman knows, in the light of the development that has taken place in that area the National Rivers Authority has recommended that the relevant local planning authorities should jointly promote a study of the adequacy of existing defences.