East Lancashire politicians call for floods action as Lancashire named as danger area (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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East Lancashire politicians call for floods action as Lancashire named as danger area
EAST Lancashire politicians have urged environment chiefs to tackle flood risks in Darwen, Pendle and Rossendale after a major report warned home-wrecking deluges will become four times more likely in the next 20 years.
A report by the government’s committee on climate change, which highlights Lancashire as one of the danger areas, tells ministers to reverse cuts in flood defence spending because the number of devastating downpours like this summer’s will quadruple in the next two decades.
Its publication coincided with yesterday’s announcement by the Environment Agency that plans to protect Todmorden and Hebden Bridge were being brought forward after severe flooding on Monday.
Blackburn Council leader Kate Hollern and MP Jake Berry joined forces to say Darwen, hit by floods in three consecutive weeks, must not be forgotten in future planning.
In the Ribble Valley, council leader Michael Ranson and MP Nigel Evans said while much work had been done round Ribchester, parts of Clitheroe and Whalley remained in danger.
Pendle’s cabinet member for environment Tony Greaves and the borough’s MP Andrew Stephenson said Nelson, Barrowford, Earby and Burnley also needed extra protection.
Andy Brown, environment agency flood risk manager for Lancashire, said: “People and properties in Whalley, Darwen, Nelson, Ribchester, Crawshawbooth, Bacup, Rawtenstall, Rossendale and Earby were especially affected by flooding.
“We will be working with partner organisations to see where we can help reduce flood risk."
Coun Hollern said: “Flood protection measures for Darwen should be absolutely a top priority.”
And Mr Berry said: “I recently opened a major flood defence on the River Darwen and there has been work on the River Irwell in Rossendale.
“Darwen must not forgotten as further work is needed.
“And there are also still major flood risks happening in Waterfoot and Crawshawbooth.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw added: “The report is right that more needs to be spent on flood defences but local authorities cannot be expected to pay for it.”