Inaugural flood ‘surgery’ for flood-affected communities
Rory in collaboration with the Environment Agency held a first-of-its-kind flood ‘surgery’ on Friday 4th May at the agency’s Penrith base, attended by residents of flood-affected communities in Penrith and the Border. Representatives from various flood action groups came to discuss ongoing flooding and gravel management work at Eamont Bridge, Pooley Bridge and Appleby, all locations at which the Environment Agency has recently undertaken gravel removal and river maintenance works.
The surgery, chaired by MP Rory, provided an opportunity for the flood action groups to ask questions about ongoing surveying and modelling work in connection with gravel management, and follows a series of individual meetings that Rory has held with the Eamont Bridge and Pooley Bridge Action Groups. Rory has, in addition, strongly lobbied Defra Minister Richard Benyon on the need for equitable insurance terms for flood-affected communities and home owners, presenting the Minister earlier this year with a proposal drafted by the Pooley Bridge Flood Action Group.
Rory said: “Today’s meeting has gone a long way to cementing relations between our flood-affected communities and the Environment Agency, who have taken a strong proactive approach to their work with communities like Eamont Bridge and Pooley Bridge. It is important that we keep regular communications open and clear, and that the Agency has the chance to explain the surveying and modelling process, illustrating with concrete examples the work they are doing within the context of the Cumbrian gravel management programme, and to give community representatives the chance to ask questions.”
“It’s been a pleasure to be able to host and chair today’s session, and I am grateful for the Environment Agency for their help in arranging this, and to the communities themselves for their continued hard work on behalf of affected residents. This is a worrying issue for Cumbrians, and one that I will keep firmly on the agenda, not only in terms of the physical work going on across Penrith and the Border, but via events such as the Northern Flood Action Conference that I will be attending later this year.”