Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans asked a Government minister what action is being taken to prevent flooding during a recent debate which he led in the House of Commons.
Mr Evans began his speech by recounting the massive flooding that occurred on Boxing Day 2015, the hardships Ribble Valley residents went through and continue to go through because of flooding. Mr Evans also spoke of the communities of the Ribble Valley coming together and showing strength. He thanked the many people who went “above and beyond the call of duty” to help others, neighbours and strangers alike.
Mr Evans praised, among others, Gillian Darbyshire, former president of Whalley and District Lions, and Kelly Hughes, a local volunteer, as well as the emergency services and Ribble Valley Borough Council, for their help with the relief effort. Fellow MP Seema Kennedy, from South Ribble, also paid tribute to both Mr Evans and local volunteers for their community service during the floods.
However, Mr Evans also raised concerns about how future flooding can be prevented in the Ribble Valley.
He asked Therese Coffey MP, Minister for the Environment and Rural Life Opportunities, what action the Government is taking to prevent any future flooding issues in the Ribble Valley and what lessons have been learned to improve the Government’s response.
The Minister responded by saying that the Government has started to build up more defences against flooding and has created the National Resilience Flood Review to see what it can learn to lessen future flooding. Furthermore, the Minister said the Government should continue to play a key role in helping people at risk of floods and that £2.5 billion has been spent on 1,500 new flood schemes. Maintenance spending has also been increased.