No money for flood de­fences for town

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

WEST Lan­cashire MP Rosie Cooper has again re­ceived con­fir­ma­tion from Gov­ern­ment that de­spite per­sis­tent lob­by­ing, they refuse to fund flood de­fence in Orm­skirk.

Fol­low­ing Lan­cashire County Coun­cil’s pub­li­ca­tion of the Hurl­ston Brook (Orm­skirk) Flood Re­port in 2018, of­ten re­ferred to as the Jacobs Re­port, res­i­dents were dis­ap­pointed to hear that no im­prove­ments were be­ing con­sid­ered de­spite the clear iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of flood risk in the area.

The MP wrote di­rectly to the Depart­ment for En­vi­ron­ment, Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs at the time, who con­firmed there was a max­i­mum of £1.3m avail­able to bid for through their Flood De­fence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) money. How­ever, this was only avail­able if the re­main­ing £8.4m could be found lo­cally, which Lan­cashire County Coun­cil say they can’t fund.

Fol­low­ing a DEFRA up­date last month boast­ing about a multi-bil­lion pound in­vest­ment in flood de­fence, Ms Cooper wrote again seek­ing fund­ing for flood de­fence in Orm­skirk.

She said: “We’ve done the stud­ies, we know the prob­lems, we have the so­lu­tions, but gov­ern­ment sim­ply won’t fund the flood de­fences for Orm­skirk.

“I pur­sued the En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary at the time the Orm­skirk Jacobs Re­port was re­leased, and they told me they wouldn’t pro­vide the fund­ing.

“DEFRA wrote to me last month about their multi bil­lion pound in­vest­ment in flood de­fence, but hav­ing writ­ten again to the Sec­re­tary of State re­quest­ing flood de­fence fund­ing for Orm­skirk, it seems West Lan­cashire is left be­hind yet again as the an­swer re­mains no. So much for the lev­el­ling up agenda this Gov­ern­ment like to talk about!

“I will con­tinue to lobby LCC, DEFRA and rel­e­vant agen­cies to con­sider any and all ap­proaches avail­able to pro­tect my con­stituents, many who have al­ready had their lives dev­as­tated be­cause of flood­ing in 2012, 2015 and count­less other times.”

Orm­skirk Ten­nis Club dur­ing pre­vi­ous floods

West Lan­cashire MP Rosie Cooper

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