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Flood-risk homes left high but not dry

Government blasted after cutting cash to clear Sefton's brooks

Published on February 4th 2014.

Flood-risk homes left high but not dry

AS the row continues to rage over who exactly is to blame for the extensive floods in the South of England, nearer home parts of Merseyside are at risk of flooding and MP Bill Esterson points a finger of blame at the Government. 

The Sefton Central Labour MP says funding to clear out brooks in the Formby, Maghull and Thornton areas of North Merseyside has been cut.

Homes in the three communities were left submerged last year because residents say the watercourses were left to overflow.

Bill Esterson has now asked the Tory-Lib Dem Secretary of State responsible for flooding, Owen Paterson,  how people can have confidence their homes will stay dry after it admitted the money to clear brooks had been cut.

Quizzing the Secretary of State, Bill Esterson asked Owen Paterson:  "A number of homes in my constituency have flooded since the brooks stopped being cleared. What confidence can my constituents have that their homes will not flood again given the cuts in funding to flood protection which have taken place under this government?"

Esterson said: "The confirmation from the Minister that funding has indeed been cut to brook clearance will be of great concern to those people in Four Acres in Maghull, and those people in Formby and Thornton whose homes have been ruined by flood water.

"People want reassurances that this government is doing everything it can to ensure there will not be a repeat of the flooding we have seen in the last year. But the Tories and Lib Dems in this government refuse to give my constituents the reassurances that they deserve.

"I have spoken to residents who were forced out of their home because of the flood water, a number of whom have only returned in the last couple of months.

"There needs to be assurances that the Secretary of State and the government have got this problem in hand, unlike how they are dealing with the flooding problems in the south.

“In Sefton we share a border with the Irish Sea to our west and throughout we have the River Alt being fed by brooks that run the length and breadth of the borough. That is why it is absolutely vital we have a sound flood management system in place.  This includes regular brook clearance. If that doesn't happen we are prone to the flooding that we have seen in the recent past.”

The MP plans to contact DEFRA and the Secretary of State to find out what measures they are taking to ensure this part of North Merseyside is safe from flooding now funding for the vital brook clearance programme has been cut.

"We cannot allow the residents who went through the absolute misery of seeing their homes and valuable ruined have to go through all of that again,” added Esterson.


Meanwhile high tides this week have sent waves from the Mersey crashing onto the Pier Head, with the water level almost reaching the top of the promenade wall at Otterspool.

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