United effort to stem Fylde flood tide

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Stemming the floods is a key priority in Fylde.

That's the message from the area's MP Mark Menzies, who emphasised the importance of tackling inland flooding and improving protections for homes and businesses in rural areas as he welcomed flooding minister Rebecca Pow to the area.

As she took up an invitation to view completed and future sea defence schemes, the minister also visited the east Lytham pumping station and met farmers and Fylde councillors to discuss problems away from the coastline.

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She pledged everything possible would be done to tackle the problems, with major Government investment announced recently to protect land, homes and businesses.

Environment minister Rebecca Power with Fylde MP Mark Menzies at the pumping station in LythamEnvironment minister Rebecca Power with Fylde MP Mark Menzies at the pumping station in Lytham
Environment minister Rebecca Power with Fylde MP Mark Menzies at the pumping station in Lytham
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Minister's delight at Fylde sea defences

Mr Menzies said: “Inland flooding remains a very real concern and I welcome the opportunity for those affected to discuss the problems with the minister.

“The minister showed a good understanding of the issue and some of the potential solutions.

“The pumping station at east Lytham is important but it does not solve some of the problems we have further inland.

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“I will continue to work with people in the Fylde to tackle flooding problems.”

The Government announced in the summer that it is devoting £5.2bn of investment over the next six years to tackle flooding and coastal erosion.

It says more than £860m will be spent in 2021-22 boosting design and construction of more than 1,000 schemes across England as part of the Environment Agency’s annual capital programme.

It follows the Environment Agency’s successful delivery of the Government’s previous £2.6bn investment between 2015 and 2021.

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The funding is accompanied by a consultation this autumn, where the Government looks at how to better protect frequently flooded communities, including how to strengthen the assessment of local circumstances, such as where areas have flooded on multiple occasions.

The Government says it will bring in tighter guidance for planning authorities as part of a package of actions to better protect and prepare communities for flooding. Householders will also benefit from changes regarding insurance.

Ms Pow said: “It is important we all work together to tackle the flooding problems. It was good to take a look at the areas of concern in Fylde and to meet some of those involved.”

Mr Menzies says he understands the challenges farmers face and the need to ensure there is a clear plan for protecting farming land.

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“Farms are businesses and when land is flooded it isn’t supporting the economy of the Fylde,” said the Fylde MP. “Equally I know many of the issues on agricultural land impact neighbouring communities.

“I know a lot of work is going on to determine how these challenges can be addressed and it is good to know people are working together to find solutions and to source funding.

“I am looking forward to sharing details of proposals with the minister and welcome her interest.”

Coun Tommy Threlfall, chairman of Fylde Council’s environment, health and housing committee, said: “It’s important that we do all we can to prevent flooding. The most humbling experiences of my time as a councillor have been going inside people’s homes and seeing the damage the floods cause.”

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