Floods minister: We’re doing all we can to stop repeat of 2013 tidal surge
PUBLISHED: 08:22 24 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:27 24 September 2015
Floods minister Rory Stewart has reassured residents of flood-hit coastal communities in the region that everything is being done to prevent a repeat of the devastation caused by the tidal surge in 2013.
On a whistle-stop visit to Denver Sluice, near Downham Market, yesterday, Mr Stewart said billions of pounds were being invested on flood defences nationally in the next six years. And he said the government would fight to save any homes that were at risk of falling into the sea.
As part of this government’s long-term investment programme, Defra will be investing £55m in Norfolk’s flood defences to better protect around 5,800 homes by 2021.
With funding from other partners, almost £73m has been committed for works in Norfolk up to 2021, with £20.7m confirmed for 2015/16.
Mr Stewart said: “This is a special part of the country with decades of experience. This sluice was designed in the 1600s so we are standing on the shoulders of giants. Flood defence work is a real priority for the government. But this is a learning experience. With climate change things can change very quickly.
“My advice to residents is to stay in touch with the Environment Agency. More notice can now be given of when floods are expected. I’m a Cumbrian MP and I know how devastating flooding can be to coastal communities.”
He said homes at risk from vanishing into the sea should be saved. He also paid tribute to the Environment Agency staff at Denver Sluice, including superintendent Dan Pollard.
Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, said: “I wanted Rory to come here because it’s such a strategic area.”