Panel urges further consultation on flood sirens

Officials behind plans to axe coastal flood sirens were today urged to put their proposals on hold for a year.

Officials behind plans to axe coastal flood sirens were today urged to put their proposals on hold for a year.

A panel of police and fire experts agreed that there had not been enough consultation on the matter, which would see 57 sirens along the Norfolk coast scrapped, saving £35,000 a year.

The proposal to axe the sirens, and rely instead on the Environment Agency's free Floodline Warning Direct system, was made by the Norfolk Resilience Forum earlier this year.

But flood wardens across the county were outraged, claiming the Environment Agency's system was not always effective.

At today's Fire and Community Protection Review Panel members recommended shelving the proposals for 12 months to allow for further public consulation.

Panel member Martin Barsby said: “The review panel felt consultation should have taken place.

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“As a result we have asked the forum to put their plans on hold for a year.

“During this time the decision to scrap the sirens should be thoroughly consulted and discussed.”

Concerned flood wardens who feared the axing of aged sirens would put lives at risk breathed a sigh of relief.

Senior Sea Palling flood warden, David Russell, said: “We are obviously pleased with this outcome.

“We're quietly optimistic but this is just the beginning.

“If they choose to consult it will mean a lot of work for us.”

The next meeting of the forum is in April where it will be seen whether the panel's recommendation is carried out.