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MP urges Government to protect local communities from surface water flooding

October 23, 2018 9:38 AM

Tim Farron Parliament Speech DEFRALocal MP Tim Farron has pushed the Government to hold water companies to a much higher standard to protect communities in the South Lakes from surface water flooding.

At the moment, the Environment Agency have to make sure that all new flood defences are able to withstand a 1 in 100-year rainfall event while water companies like United Utilities only need to stick to a 1 in 30-year standard.

This means that despite the millions of pounds that are to set to spent on flood defences for the South Lakes, the area will still be just as vulnerable from surface water flooding.

In one extreme case on Steeles Row in Burneside, poor drainage means that residents have to deal with raw sewage overflowing into their homes and onto their street every time there's heavy rain.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Tim said: "The Environment Agency's welcome and overdue plans for flood defences in Kendal suggest that they will be built to withstand a one-in-100-year storm event, yet the water companies, such as United Utilities, are required to meet only a one-in-30-year storm event.

"That means we could be at the mercy of drain waters while being protected from our rivers. Will the Secretary of State force the water companies to delve into their vast profits and keep communities such as Kendal, Burneside, Grange and Windermere safe from flooding?"

In his response, DEFRA secretary Michael Gove said: "We will do everything we can to ensure that communities are protected and water companies such as United Utilities live up to their responsibilities."

Anne Hutton, local Lib Dem district councillor in Burneside, said: "In Burneside we're often seen as being the end of the line, and the long running situation with Steeles Row is another classic example.

"For the peace of minds of local people, the Government need to be making sure that the water companies aren't left off the hook when it comes to protecting us from flooding."