As reported by KCFM Radio:
Haltemprice and Howden MP calls for Government settlement for Humber flood defences
David Davis has called for a settlement from Government to fund the Humber’s flood defences.
It comes after a new report from the National Audit Office concluded that not enough is being spent to enhance and maintain the country’s defences, which raises the risk of serious flooding in future.
He told KCFM that the Humber is a huge strategic asset that needs protecting:
“After the Thames Estuary there is no greater risk from flooding than the Humber.
“It’s got more than a quarter of the country’s oil refining capacity, it’s got huge amounts of gas brought onshore at Easington, it’s got an enormous port as well. So for all sorts of economic reasons the Humber is important, but also for personal reasons there are hundreds of thousands of people living in a flood area.”
He said the current system used to allocate funding means it’s difficult to secure the amount needed to improve our area’s flood resilience:
“The Humber Strategy is clearly cost effective, but the system used to allocate funding is preventing these vital defences from being built. The only way this will work is through a special settlement with the treasury.
“We started out thinking we’d need a few hundred million, but the current best estimate is £900m- even then that’s a middle point. It’s a huge chunk of money, especially at the moment when the Government hasn’t got any money, they’re spending more than it’s raising in taxes.”
Mr Davis added that it’s vital to ensure rural and urban communities are both protected:
“It’s much easier to raise the money to protect Hull because there’s a lot of valuable property. It’s not so easy to raise the money to protect areas like Blacktoft or Laxton because they’re smaller villages. I say you should protect the whole region, because that way the defences work better and they protect the rural as well as urban areas.
“Doing nothing will pose a serious risk to both lives and property. We have called on the Government to undertake a strategic action to defend the Humber. This report reinforces that call.”