Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has called for more action from the Government on flooding. This comes in light of a Parliamentary Question revealing that since 2015 only £1.2 million has been spent on flooding prevention in Abingdon.
Layla recently called a public meeting on the Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme, which was promised and then scrapped by the Environment Agency due to spiralling costs of almost £9.7 million. She has said that the current spending on flooding is “not good enough” and more must be done to make up for the “disappointment” cancelling the scheme brought to residents.
The Government defended its record by saying the Environment Agency has spent £1.2 million on some flood risk reduction in Abingdon since April 2015. This is compared to the £150 million being spent on reducing flooding risks in Oxford.
Commenting on the latest developments Layla said:
“The Conservative Government must do more to address residents’ concerns over flooding. We all know the disappointment the scrapping of the Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme brought, and now the Government must up their game.
“I’ll keep putting pressure on the Tories to get local residents a better deal on flooding. Flooding has had devastating effects on communities in the past - 2007 is always in the back of my mind. We must work to make sure the flooding risk is at a minimum.”
Layla asked a Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about flooding:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2019 to Question 229822 on Flood Control: Oxfordshire, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Environment Agency receives adequate funding to help prevent flooding in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. (234853)
Dr Thérèse Coffey:
The Government invests Flood Defence Grant in Aid where it can provide the greatest benefit to people and property at risk of flooding and coastal erosion. Funding is allocated consistently across the country and the Environment Agency (EA) works in partnership to get the best value for money from Government funding. It targets national investment to reduce the risks of flooding and coastal erosion to as many people as possible, and to get the best outcome for every pound spent. The EA works with local partners including Regional Flood and Coastal Committees to take into account local needs and opportunities when deciding where to invest.
Since April 2015 the EA and its partners have spent £1.2 million to reduce flood risk in Abingdon. Some of this money has been spent on a flood wall to reduce flood risk at St. Helens Mill. Another example is the development of a plan to deploy temporary barriers to reduce the risk to over 100 properties during a flood event.
The EA also undertakes maintenance on the River Stert, Radley Park Ditch, Radley Brook, Sandford Brook and the Larkhill Stream in Abingdon to help protect people and property from flooding. This includes weed cutting, bankside vegetation control, debris removal and trash screen clearance.