FLOOD: Now it’s time for river work

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It appears that the £23million Morpeth flood protection experiment has worked satisfactorily during the recent period of heavy rainfall, with only minor flooding in the town being reported in the Morpeth Herald.

The Environment Agency, Morpeth Flood Action Group, and Northumberland County Council should be commended on that almost complete success.

Now all that remains to be done is the demolition of the obsolete dams and weirs that were built to raise the head of water to drive the old mills in the town, along with deepening, dredging, straightening and, where possible, widening of the river.

The flood warnings for Bothal and Stakeford indicate that the flow of the river in the lower reaches needs to be improved.

When those relatively minor operations are completed, the dam connected to the River Wansbeck above Mitford will most probably never again be needed to keep floodwater levels below the top of the banks and flood walls in the town.

We, the county council tax paying electorate, must learn from the success or failure of expensive, experimental projects.

Are the next two the transferring of county council headquarters to Ashington and the risk that is being taken by not planning the replacement of Morpeth’s Telford Bridge now that land for the southern end is available?

Norman Bateman

Low Espley