MP Bill Esterson wants better flood defences in Maghull after this week’s Storm Christoph forced local authorities to advise some residents to leave their homes due to the risks of flooding.
The downpour over the past few days was largely saved from “a disaster” due to the breach of an embankment at Lunt Meadows, meaning the risk of flooding was reduced today (Thursday 21st January).
Mr Esterson has now called on the government to make funds available for flood prevention.
Mr Esterson has previously written to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) asking for the necessary flood defences to be funded.
Mr Esterson said the Environment Agency had investigated schemes that would reduce flood risk in Maghull in 2017 and the preferred intervention was costed at £1.3m. DEFRA wrote that they would only fund £200,000 of this, and “external funding” would be required to make up the rest.
Mr Esterson wrote to the Environment Secretary and the Chancellor on January 14 to ask that the decision be looked at again and the funds be made available.
Mr Esterson said: “We have seen unprecedented rainfall which has caused severe flooding. I was out last night (Wednesday 20th) and saw for myself the distressing situation for so many residents. The emergency services were terrific and averted an even worse disaster.
“Lunt Meadows is a nature reserve and a planned flood storage area, and what happened last night was it just filled up much more quickly than normal. A huge 30 metre section of embankment gave way at Lunt Meadows relieving the pressure on Dovers Brook, which certainly saved many homes from a much worse outcome.
“My office staff have been talking to residents and offering assistance. I have been pressing the government to fund the necessary flood defence work and they have so far refused to make the funds available. After what happened last night it is vital that the money is made available so this doesn’t happen again. The government announced £5.2bn for flood defences last year – where is the money for Maghull?”