Following the Environment Agency’s ‘Great Ouse Tidal River Baseline Report’, East Cambridgeshire District Council have agreed to back the Environment Agency in its case to Government.
At East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Full Council meeting on 22nd February, a motion was put forward to Councillors to promote the agency’s report and show the Council’s support for its findings.
The two District Councillors for the Downham Villages Ward, (which is highlighted in the report as being the most potentially affected area), Cllrs Mike Bradley and Anna Bailey proposed and seconded the motion. Cllr Mike Bradley was also appointed as the lead member champion to take this forward on behalf of the Council.
Councillor Mike Bradley, said: “The findings of the Environment Agency’s report have important implications for our community especially affecting the Downham Villages Ward. There are approximately 1200 homes at serious risk if there is a North Sea surge or the breaching of the Southern Level Barrier Bank.
“Significant sums of money will be needed to protect the Fens and its source of funding competes with the Internal Drainage Board (IDB), who have their own essential infrastructure priorities.
“For the Tidal River alone, which is approximately 20% of the Fens, the Environment Agency estimates that approximately £126m is needed, with between £98m and £102m coming from sources other than Government’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCRM) grant.
“The Tidal River Southern Level Barrier Bank specifically needs circa £34m of which the Government’s FCRM grant is between £6.8-£8m.
“I am thrilled that councillors unanimously have come together to show a united front so that East Cambs District Council will give our residents a voice and I am proud to be the lead on behalf of the Council to help the Environment Agency promote the serious risk of flooding in the Fens, especially the Downham Villages ward.”
Paul Burrows, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager said: “We are delighted to have Cllr Bradley appointed as a lead member champion. His advice, experience and passion will be invaluable as we work together with our partners on the long-term challenges and opportunities to ensure flood risk management in the fens is fit for the future.”
Read the full report below.