MP Graham Stuart backs calls for major changes to the draft Flood and Water Management Bill
MP for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart, has backed calls for changes to be made to a draft of the Flood and Water Bill – designed to protect communities and business from floods such as those which hit the region in 2007.
Today the National Flood Forum (NFF), a charitable organisation which provides support and advice to communities and individuals which have suffered flooding or are at risk of flooding, said the draft Bill failed to simplify the current confusing structure of organisations involved in dealing with flood risk management.
Graham said: “Back in April of this year I pointed out the failings of the Government over this issue.
“Despite two years having passed between the floods the Bill has still only been published in draft form and there is clearly no clarity for flooding victims as to who is supposed to be doing what.
“Now the NFF is quite rightly also angry the public are no nearer to getting good, clear advice about flooding matters.”
And he added: “My constituents want to know the Government is doing everything in its power to prevent a repeat of the 2007 floods. I have to conclude it is not. The Government has dragged its feet for far too long on this issue.”
NFF vice-chairman Charles Tucker was today handing over the charity’s official response to the draft Bill to Martin Hurst, Defra’s Director of Water at Defra’s Ergon House, Westminster, London.
The response expresses dismay that the draft Bill has not simplified the current structure of organisations involved in flood risk management. It calls for the Bill to be dramatically amended, focusing on the needs of people affected by flooding.
The NFF provides support and advice to communities and individuals that have suffered flooding or are at risk of flooding. Mary Dhonau, NFF chief executive, was awarded an OBE this year for services to the environment. She said: “We take calls every day from people whose lives have been devastated by flooding.
“One of their most common questions is why they have to make 10 or 12 phone calls just to find out who is responsible for a blocked drain or surface water flooding and who can help them get rid of it – the draft Bill does nothing to address this.”
And Laurence Waterhouse, NFF chairman, said: “The proposals in the draft Bill increase the work of local authorities which at the current time do not provide the required level of response to surface water flooding. Many of these make no secret of having other commitments on their time and money.
“Ultimately, we feel that the proposed Bill, while good intentioned, will not fundamentally change the way in which organisations which have responsibility for preventing or reacting to flooding will act.”
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