rory suggests new flood defence solutions for rickerby
Rory invited Carlisle City Council and Environment Agency representatives to attend a meeting with constituents who are members of the Rickerby Flood Action Group to discuss the group’s history, and brokered a potential solution to the community’s flood defence problems. The group hopes to further reinforce flood defences at Rickerby Park, Carlisle, and requested Rory’s assistance in finding more affordable and innovative ways to reinforce the local defences.
The Flood Action Group, which was founded in January 2010, consists of a committee of six members led by local resident Alison Hampson. They discussed with Rory the impact of the 2005 and 2009 floods on Rickerby, and their concerns regarding the need for more resilient up-stream defences. Although the group have received a small grant from the Council for approximately £25,000 to spend on emergency flood bags, residents remain concerned that they are a “forgotten” part of Carlisle. Rory Stewart suggested that the community ‘match-fund’ resources of their own to help meet the Environment Agency half-way, suggesting small financial contributions per household, construction materials from local developer Fred Story, and flexibility in where residents might accept any new flood defence structure to be positioned on their land.
Rory said: “Flooding in Rickerby in the past has obviously caused a great deal of distress for residents; the fact that fewer residents have been affected than in other more populated areas does not mean that we can simply forget this part of Carlisle, which is located right on the Brunstock Beck and has in both 2005 and 2009 been affected by severe flooding. Anyone affected by flooding knows that the impact is not only physical, but psychological too. The residents’ group are prepared to contribute resources in order to help make a better flood defence system more affordable, and to ensure that they do not live in fear of future flood damage. I am delighted that we were able to bring both Cumbria County Council and the Environment Agency into the meeting in order to discuss a more flexible approach to building a more affordable flood defence system here, with some degree of community match-funding and involvement.”