Small flood defence schemes to go ahead

ALL the smaller scale flood defence projects earmarked for Northumberland will be carried out after a funding programme rise was agreed.

The Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee’s local authority members decided to increase the Local Levy by four percent at a meeting last Friday.

Among the works to take place during 2012/13 will be dune management at Druridge Bay, with £50,000 allocated, which forms part of the Coal and Coast Project for the area led by Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

The same amount will be spent on increasing flood resilience and capacity in different areas of the county.

In a report to the committee, Environment Agency officers said that putting the levy up by four per cent to allow for inflation would allow all the identified projects on its list to be funded.

A standstill rate would have created a funding gap of £95,000 between identified projects and available funding.

Committee Chairman Frank Major said: “The Northumbria local levy scheme is very much the envy of other committees across the country.

“As in previous years, the 2012/13 programme will carry out a range of pioneering and important works and activities which will make an enormous contribution to communities across the North East.”

The levy will be £3million in total and other projects to be carried out include upland land management, community workshops and working with schools and young people.