Pumps to con­tinue run­ning

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

THE En­vi­ron­ment Agency (EA) will con­tinue op­er­at­ing flood pumps in the Alt Crossens area un­til at least March 2021 as un­cer­tainty sur­rounds their fu­ture.

There re­mains con­cern about the five flood pumps which serve and pro­tect the West Lancashire area from flood­ing, one of the big­gest is­sues af­fect­ing homes and busi­nesses.

The EA gave no­tice of its in­ten­tion to cease op­er­at­ing these pumps back in 2015, but this no­tice has been ex­tended pend­ing res­o­lu­tion of leg­isla­tive prob­lems which pre­vent the for­ma­tion of a lo­cal wa­ter man­age­ment board.

With flood­ing in­ci­dents con­tin­u­ing in West Lancashire while the pumps re­main in op­er­a­tion, Rosie Cooper MP has raised con­cern that there may still be an in­ten­tion to cease op­er­a­tion which could only ex­ac­er­bate the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

She said: “We’ve seen again parts of West Lancashire and par­tic­u­larly Burscough flood­ing in re­cent weeks and that is even with the con­tin­ued op­er­a­tion of the five flood pumps.

“I and many res­i­dents fear that should the no­tice for the En­vi­ron­ment Agency to cease op­er­a­tion of these pumps be fol­lowed through, homes, busi­nesses and agri­cul­tural farm­land could all be sub­ject to in­creased flood­ing.

“I have re­ceived an in­terim up­date from the EA to say they will con­tinue to op­er­ate the pumps un­til leg­is­la­tion is passed al­low­ing for the for­ma­tion of a lo­cal wa­ter man­age­ment board, but would then seek to trans­fer own­er­ship and op­er­a­tion to the newly formed body.

“I have writ­ten to the Sec­re­tary of State for En­vi­ron­ment, Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs seek­ing a de­tailed up­date on the flood pump sit­u­a­tion here in West Lancashire and ask­ing what progress has been made to bring through the re­quired leg­is­la­tion.

“Fail­ure to ad­dress the fu­ture drainage and wa­ter man­age­ment ar­range­ments will mean that when those pumps are turned off, agri­cul­tural land and res­i­dents’ homes in the Alt Crossens area is at the mercy of the weather.

“We can’t have food pro­duc­ing land wa­ter­logged again, more homes at risk and homes that have been flooded fac­ing in­creased risk and in­ci­dents. There needs to be some progress.”

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper

Cot­ton Drive in Orm­skirk flooded af­ter Storm Ciara

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