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Money Better Spent on River Dredging than Flood-proofing Homes – Claim

Posted on October 13, 2016

Grant money being doled out to encourage householders to flood-proof their homes would be better spent on river dredging.

That’s the view of John Kelsall, of Carlisle Flood Action Group, who says the headline-grabbing £5,000 grant to fund flood-prevention measures is not appropriate for the major floods that have hit the city.

“Maintenance of our local rivers has got to be cheaper than every five years mopping up after the kind of deluges that have hit this part of the county,” said Mr Kelsall.

Basic protection against rising waters in areas like Warwick Road, in Carlisle, would have been useless against the kind of flood levels seen during the 2005 and 2015 storms, said Mr Kelsall.

“Some of our research indicates that the Rivers Caldew and Petteril peak flows in storms reach Carlisle one hour before the River Eden’s does,” said Mr Kelsall.

“But this does not happen because the flow in the two tributaries is held up due to the lack of river maintenance.”

Mr Kelsall’s comments came after insurers nationally criticised hundreds of thousands of householders in flood risk areas for failing to install basic protection against rising waters.

The Association of British Insurers said even buildings guarded by flood defences should have flood-proof doors .

The comments add to a complex blame game over responsibility for floods with some of these tensions highlighted in a report to government that ministers plan to launch in the coming weeks.

In it, the Environment Agency blames insurers for failing to prepare for the increased threat of flooding.

Mr Kelsall added that installing concrete flood defences is something that could be taken up and rewiring of sockets to a higher level.

“But how many people are prepared to wait for the work to be carried out? There is a lot of pressure to get people back into their homes. Insurers are not wanting to pay huge bills for putting people up in alternative accommodation.”

Meanwhile, the insurers are frustrated at the take up of grants of up to £5,000 to flood-proof properties with the likes of flood barriers and modifications inside.

Source: News&Star

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