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Flooding (Northern Lincolnshire)

Volume 573: debated on Thursday 9 January 2014

11. What reports he has received on the recent floods in northern Lincolnshire; and what discussions he has had with the Environment Agency on its plans to improve flood defences. (901867)

I visited my hon. Friend’s constituency on 7 December and saw some of the damage caused. The flooding caused an estimated £40 million-worth of damages to Immingham docks. The Environment Agency is currently updating its Humber flood risk management strategy, which looks at long-term justification, funding and solutions for the management of flood-risk communities along the Humber. Data and learning from recent flooding will also be used in the development of the strategy.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply. I draw his particular attention to the village of Barrow Haven, between Barton and Immingham, which has twice suffered floods in the past six years. It is unacceptable that the local community should have to live in constant fear of a repeat. I urge my right hon. Friend, as part of his review to look at involving more local people in the task of how best to alleviate floods. People who serve on drainage boards and the like want to be able to input their local knowledge.

I enjoyed the visit with my hon. Friend. It was astonishing to see that that was a one-in-500-years incident. I totally endorse his view that there should be involvement of local people. I am happy for him to write to me, and we can negotiate with the Environment Agency. I strongly urge him to get his local councils involved so that they can participate in our partnership regime.