We welcome the exciting news in the Autumn Statement that the Chancellor, George Osborne has acknowledged the need for flood mitigation for Southwell in DEFRA’s six-year £2.3 billion flood defence programme (see interactive map)
See press release for more information
The Chancellor visited Southwell in May during the by-election to see for himself the scale of Southwell’s flooding and hear from residents the devastating effects of July 2013 as well as other flooding events. He promised to consider our ‘wish list’ for mitigation funding and the extension of the Repair and Renew grant the latter being announced last week.
Government had made it clear in February that it was committed to reduce flood risk and provide the security that people deserve to allow them to get on with their daily lives. Mr Pickles promised then that there were plans to protect 465,000 households from flooding in the next decade and 42 new flood defence schemes planned in the next year. He confirmed capital investment of £370m to be committed each year from 2015 rising to over £400m annually by 2020 for improving defences.
However, at that stage, Southwell wasn’t ‘in the running’, but Hannah O’Callaghan and the Flood Team of Nottinghamshire County Council worked hard to submit our bid into the six-year plan for Flood Mitigation before the March deadline.
Subsequently, Southwell Flood Forum has campaigned relentlessly to be treated in the same way as communities in the south affected by last winter’s storms and Robert Jenrick has continued to lobby at Parliamentary level.
Chairman, Rob Jordan said:
“Today ‘s announcement is welcome and it is reassuring to know that here in Southwell we, Lowdham and Gunthorpe will benefit from government grant in aid. Everyone in the Flood Forum has worked so hard to ensure that we do not miss out.
- our new MP, Robert Jenrick, who has worked with us and taken our message to the highest level
- Nottinghamshire County Council
- Newark and Sherwood District Council
- Southwell Town Council
- the people of Southwell who have put their faith and trust in the Forum
…….all have worked with us and given us the support and encouragement to carry on”
With Grant in Aid secured, Southwell Flood Forum will continue its work to make Southwell a flood resilient community and to raise its £125,000 mandatory contribution through the Southwell Flood Fund. This, together with contributions from local authorities and the grant announced by the Chancellor today, forms the overall funding package for the Southwell Flood Mitigation Plan.
Councillor Bruce Laughton said –
“As Chairman of the Flood Risk Stakeholders Group, I am highly delighted that the Government has announced capital funding for flood alleviation chemes in Southwell and Lowdham.
This is the culmination of many years of hard work put in by residents of both communities. Without their support, none of this would have happened.
This is only the first step to achieving our long-term aim of protecting these communities, but it is a large and important one. As the Nottinghamshire representative of the Trent Regional Flood and Coastal Committee I have taken it upon myself to thank all of those involved at a strategic level for sticking with us through trial and tribulation!
This is good news. Well done to everyone involved, not least Nottinghamshire County Council who were the first to pledge over a million pounds for these communities, which gave us the momentum and belief to go to the Environment Agency and DEFRA and make a strong case.”
The Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Robert Jenrick and Mark Spencer made a strong case to me and the Prime Minister.
“I met residents myself and could see the damage done to homes and businesses and the need to provide security to them for the future.
“I’m delighted the Government has been able to support Robert and Mark’s campaign and provide this funding to households in Nottinghamshire and across the country.”