Stop dithering over flood defences

Flooding in Morpeth. Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery
Flooding in Morpeth. Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery

MORPETH should never have had to endure another flood if adequate defences had been in place, MP Ian Lavery has said.

The Wansbeck Member, who came straight to the town when he heard about the flooding this morning, said he shared residents’ anger that a multi-million pound flood alleviation scheme is still not off the ground, four years after the devastating deluge of 2008.

“I feel angry about it, like the residents,” he said.

“There isn’t any doubt that this flood defence scheme should have been in place by now and be fully funded.

“The Government cut the budget for flood defences, which made it virtually impossible for the new scheme to be put in place.

“Thankfully that has now been overcome, the money is available and the Environment Agency is happy with the planning arrangements, but it is really about time people started pushing this work forward.

“We can’t afford for this to happen again.

“We should never have had to experience this sort of situation in Morpeth again. People have got to stop dithering and get on with the flood scheme to protect the residents and the properties in this area.”

Mr Lavery had been due to attend an event at Goosehill Nursery today for World Milk Day, but when it was cancelled because of the flood risk he headed to the town to see the damage for himself.

“As soon as I heard about it I wondered what was happening and needed to come here, but we found it very difficult getting into Morpeth because of the conditions,” he said.