New county floods envoy to visit Whalley today

Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, the Government's Floods Minister and Lancashire's floods envoy will visit Whalley this afternoon. (s)
Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, the Government's Floods Minister and Lancashire's floods envoy will visit Whalley this afternoon. (s)

Lancashire’s floods envoy Rory Stewart is visiting Whalley this afternoon to see the work done by the Environment Agency and the district council to protect the village from flooding.

Mr Stewart, who is also the Government’s Floods Minister is also meeting emergency response teams, council officials and flood recovery teams in Preston.

He will discuss the emergency response following December’s flooding, the recovery work in place in Lancashire and future work to ensure greater protection for the county.

The minister is due in Whalley at around 4-30 pm.

Mr Stewart was appointed floods envoy for Lancashire by Prime Minister David Cameron in December. In this role, he will report back on to the Ministerial Recovery Group established by the Prime Minister on work to support communities affected by the floods to return to normality.

Mr Stewart said: “I want to thank the excellent emergency response to December’s flooding. I saw the devastating impact in Lancashire and how volunteers emergency services, military, Environment Agency and volunteers came together to protect homes and rescue those hit by the flooding.

“As your flood envoy I want to assure communities I will help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible and make sure repairs to flood defences, bridges and roads are taking place as swiftly as possible.

“Over the next six years we’re investing £120m in Lancashire flood defences and we have also announced a National Flood Resilience Review to ensure Lancashire, and the rest of the country, is better protected from future flooding. Our overall investment in recovery from Storm Eva and Storm Desmond now stands at nearly £200m.”

County Coun. Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The storms that battered Lancashire were unprecedented in their impact on individuals and businesses and it took a huge collective effort to cope with their consequences.

“We are committed to ensuring that the same effort and ethos of working together continues as we get on with the task of helping people and businesses get back on their feet following the flooding.

“I look forward to working with all of our partners, including central government, as we continue with the recovery and ensure that the county is as protected as possible from future flooding and other extreme weather.”

In Lancashire the Government has spent £20m completing new flood defences since 2010, including £11m on the Lower Lancaster scheme, reducing risk to 1,000 properties and £2.5m on the Walverden Water Flood Alleviation Scheme, reducing risk to 100 properties.

Over the next six years in Lancashire the Government is investing £120m on schemes including £60m on the Rossall flood defences, reducing risk to 7,000 properties and £10m at Morecambe Bay to reduce risk to 3,000 properties.