PENDLE councillor David Whipp has backed calls for a meeting over the Environment Agency’s decision to end a contract with the council.

The agency has decided to end its deal with Pendle Council for keeping streams and culverts in good condition and reducing the risk of flooding.

Coun Whipp said: “With an increased chance of extreme weather conditions, this is a dangerous decision that threatens local people. Axeing the contract with Pendle threatens work on the ground.”

Council officers want to meet with the agency to discuss the move.

Matt Crump, Environment Agency operations manager, said: "Our contract with Pendle Council to carry out work on local watercourses ended last month as planned.

"We had similar contract arrangements with a number of local authorities and this was the last to finish, with the contracts always planned to be time limited from when the responsibility of the watercourses was transferred to the Environment Agency.

“However, the maintenance of watercourses across Pendle will be carried out by our experienced Operations Team.

"Therefore, there should be no change seen by the public and certainly no increase in flood risk. Like all public organisations we are seeking to be as efficient as possible in carrying out our duties.

“We continue to focus on ensuring that people and property are protected from flooding and remain committed to working closely with partners such as local authorities to boost resilience.

"We urge anyone who thinks they are at risk to visit our website and sign-up for flood warnings to become prepared for any future flood risk.”