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MP presses Government for extra county flood schemes

3rd March 2020

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has met with Environment Secretary George Eustice to press for improved flood defences for the county.

And Harriett raised the specific challenges of delivering a permanent solution for Tenbury Wells which experienced serious flooding last month.

The MP will shortly be briefed on the latest plans drawn up by the Environment Agency to protect the town, but she has asked for further modelling to make sure that any new plan would have provided appropriate protection after this latest, unprecedented level of flooding.

Previous plans for Tenbury Wells have been ruled out by the Environment Agency as they do not meet their ‘return on investment’ criteria. Harriett has also proposed delivering the scheme in a phased way and finding alternatives sources of funding to deliver parts of the scheme.

The Environment Secretary agreed to work with his officials to try and find a way to move the scheme forward, as well as offering his support to a similar scheme under development to protect Severn Stoke and the A38.

Harriett commented: “The Tenbury Wells scheme has always been problematic because the Environment Agency assessments are calculated on protecting homes, not businesses.

“This is clearly problematic in Tenbury – with so many businesses also badly impacted in the heart of the town – and I’ve discussed the issue with the Environment Secretary and he has agreed to ask his officials to have another look to see what we can do to deliver a workable scheme.

“We’ve seen unprecedented levels of flooding in recent weeks and I want to be sure that any scheme developed by the Environment Agency would have worked this time around.

“But I am heartened by the Government’s response to look again at Tenbury and I will keep working closely with local experts and the Department to identify a clear plan of action.

“I have also invited the Secretary of State to visit the Tenbury in person and I hope to show him what a huge difference a new scheme could make to our lovely town.

Photo: Environment Secretary George Eustice with Harriett Baldwin MP.

Environment Secretary George Eustice with Harriett Baldwin MP.

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