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Flooding - Joint meeting held to discuss issues affecting Huntingdonshire

2nd April 2003

Jonathan Djanogly and Councillor Ian Bates, Deputy Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, met with the Environment Agency's local Area Management to talk about flooding.

Jonathan Djanogly, the Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon Constituency, and Councillor Ian Bates, Deputy Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, met with the Environment Agency's local Area Manager, Keith Stonell, and Flood Defence Manager, Nigel Woonton, on Friday to talk about flooding. Prompted by local concerns over the flooding that has taken place in recent years, the discussion at the meeting covered many topics including standards of river maintenance, the agency's flood warning system and flood protection schemes.

The Council and the Agency have been listening to the concerns of communities in vulnerable areas and are working together to try and find ways to reduce flood risk. A number of feasibility studies are being undertaken by the Agency and when these are completed later in the year it is hoped that DEFRA will provide the necessary grant.

Jonathan Djanogly said:

"The threat of flooding is a matter of constant concern for thousands of residents in Huntingdonshire. Whilst much work has been done to counter the threat, and plans have been drawn up for individual villages, I have concerns that there should be a co-ordinated strategy so that everyone understands what is planned not only for their own homes, but also for the area as a whole. Our meeting was an important step to initiate this process and I was pleased that we have agreed further meetings to monitor progress."

Schemes currently being investigated by the Agency include proposals for raising flood banks in areas such as Hemingford Grey, providing improved protection to Godmanchester and on tributaries such as the Alconbury Brook. Following a study into flooding by its Overview and Scrutiny Panel the Council is seeking to set up a forum to promote a dialogue between local parish councils, the Agency and other key players with responsibility for dealing with flooding and its consequences.

Councillor Ian Bates said:

"Flooding is a great worry for people in serveral local communities and by working with the Agency we hope to be able to reassure people that all that reasonably can be done is being done to protect them."

On behalf of the Agency, Keith Stonell said:

"From 1 April we will be trialing a local improvement to our national Floodline service. As well as the Agency's flood warnings and situation reports, local residents will be able to hear more specific local information from the Council." "

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