Securing £70 million funding for new flood protection scheme
When the Environment Agency proposed building a weak point into the reservoir bank at the Whittlesey Washes in what they called a ‘spill way’, I led the campaign to change this so that the full bank would be repaired to protect Whittlesey, Eastrea and Coates from flooding.
The £3-5 million scheme initially proposed, aimed to protect Peterborough at the expense of our residents on the basis that the risk was greater in Peterborough as there are more homes and claims that there was insufficient time or budget to fully repair the bank.
The reservoir is where water collects from the Northamptonshire area having travelled through Peterborough. Working with local councillors, farmers and drainage experts we identified a legal weakness in the Environment Agency’s case and I presented the findings to the Regional Director of the Environment Agency at the Houses of Commons. Following that meeting and further work locally, the Environment Agency accepted that a full repair of the bank was required. Having initially said this would cost £26 million, it was completed under-budget for £17 million. The full repair of the Whittlesey washes bank helps ensure Whittlesey, Eastrea and Coates will be better protected from the risk of flooding for future generations.