Thursday, September 25, 2008

Call for better flood defences at Blackhall Mill

A LEADING Liberal Democrat campaigner in Gateshead has written to the Environment Agency to urge them to consider improving flood defences at a village in the borough.

Blackhall Mill sits next to the River Derwent and on the border with Derwentside. The heavy rains at the start of September saw some localised flooding in the village which resulted in some people being temporarily moved out.

Councillor Peter Maughan, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Blaydon Constituency, which included Blackhall Mill, visited the village during the worst rains on Saturday 6th September.

“I wanted to see what effect the flood defences were having that were installed after the flooding in Blackhall Mill in 2000,” said Peter.

“The defences were holding though when I was there, another small rise in the level of the river would have seen the village flooded.

“We also saw water bursting from from drains in the streets near the river as they were unable to cope with the amount of rainwater.

“Blackhall Mill was very lucky to avoid the worst of the floods and much of that can be put down to the effectiveness of the flood defences. But I am concerned that only a small additional rise in the river level could have turned into a disaster for residents.

“I have written to the Environment Agency to expalin my concerns and to ask them to look at ways of strengthening the existing flood defences.

“Yet the most effective action to take would be for the government to take real action to cut down on our carbon emissions which are leading to extreme weather conditions.

“All we are getting from Gordon Brown and the government are nice words but few real actions.”

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