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Liberal Democrat Success as Herts County Takes New Steps to Deal with Recurring Flooding Issues

February 9, 2021 11:24 PM
Originally published by Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats at Herts County Council are delighted that at last a new root and branch review of how flooding issues are dealt with has been agreed.

They had been pressing for urgent action on the growing flooding issues.

Mayne Avenue, St Albans

Flooding in St Albans

In December Liberal Democrat county councillor Sandy Walkington tabled a motion calling for action. This has now resulted in a detailed report to council panels which highlighted the growing problems. As a result, the Conservative administration at County Hall has had to rethink how they deal with flooding and have agreed a root and branch review of the whole issue.

'I raised the issue because of the severity of flooding across the county last August,' Sandy Walkington said. 'But it reflected years of exasperation from all my fellow councillors at perennial flooding problems which never seem to be solved and which cause so much distress to our residents.'

'Often it's a problem which goes beyond the county council and reflects failures by the water companies or the Environment Agency.'

'We have to recognise that the global climate crisis is making this the new normal. Floods are the canary in the coalmine for climate change as the warmer atmosphere generates more intense rain. With so much carbon up there already, this trend can only worsen,' Sandy said.

'I was open-mouthed when the officer report drafted to respond to my motion said, "There are no financial implications arising from this report". It's not as if we are even managing to address the current situation. Thankfully following the debate at the panels, a recommendation was agreed about a flooding scrutiny to be undertaken later this year hauling in the Environment Agency, Hertfordshire's district and borough councils, the water utility companies as well as the county's own highways and flood prevention teams.

This review must come up with strong recommendations and, more importantly, the budgets to back them,' Sandy Walkington said.

Cllr Nick Hollinghurst, County Councillor for Tring, who himself has repeatedly raised the issue of flooding in Long Marston and Wilstone, adds,
"I am delighted that my County colleagues have been able to achieve some movement from the administration on this issue.
I was down in Long Marston at the end of last month and was horrified to find that Chapel Lane and the centre of the village had flooded YET AGAIN.
There was great praise for Herts Fire & Rescue Service for their prompt and effective pumping operations. But these floods just keep happening - it's déjà vu all over again!
County must now put serious resources into this increasingly frequent recurring problem. The climate is changing and we must start taking it seriously. But we also need to take some practical mitigating measures - right now!"