Euro funding hopes over flood sirens

European funding could hold the key to retaining flood sirens along the Norfolk coast, a euro-MP believes.

European funding could hold the key to retaining flood sirens along the Norfolk coast, a euro-MP believes.

MEP for the east of England, Richard Howitt, said the proposals to scrap the ageing siren warning system “made no sense” and that the arguments put forward for them to be removed “simply don't add up”.

He also promised to look into whether any funding would be available from the European Union.

The news came days after it was announced the plans will be put back for 12 months to allow further consultation on the matter.

Flood wardens had been fighting to keep the sirens ever since the Norfolk Resilience Forum announced the 57 sirens could be scrapped in a bid to save £35,000 a year.

During a visit to Sea Palling yesterday Mr Howitt was surrounded by concerned residents.

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He said: “I've been listening to the flood warden's concerns and they've persuaded me.

“The arguments the forum is trying to use to take the sirens down make no sense.

“It's important to remember the wardens are volunteers. Their only loyalty is to the people's whose lives are in jeopardy.

“Under the new plans how would old or frail people cope with complex technology?

“And some of the homes are holiday homes so how would the owners be notified?

“None of it adds up.

“If places like Grimsby and Cleethorpes can have new sirens why not Norfolk?”

Mr Howitt added he would be contacting North Norfolk District Council and the county council today to voice his concern.

But perhaps most importantly for residents along the coastline he promised to look into any funding that might be available to campaigners.

Organiser of Save our Sirens, Dr Marie Strong, said: “It was very reassuring to have him visit.

“We have less than 12 months to sort something out.”