Friday, 18 October 2013

Flooding - not a risk to take

A strange letter in the Echo from SKIPP suggesting that it is disgraceful that the Council is pushing ahead with a flood defence scheme on Shoebury common notwithstanding that fact that everybody is against it. This seems to be aimed at supporting Cllr Ann Chalk's suggestion that any discussion about immediate flooding amounts to scare mongering. The reality is that the facts confirm that there is a real and immediate risk of flooding in areas of Shoebury which necessitate improvements to our flood defences in the area of Shoebury common. The way that risk is calculated is to make clear that flooding will happen within a certain timeframe. Cllr Chalk suggests that it is safe to assume that it will not happen until the end of the time frame which is wrong and frankly reckless. The risk stats reveal that the flooding could happen this winter, or next year or the year after that. The only certainty is that it will happen at some point and when it does there will be considerable damage and disruption caused to significant numbers of homes and businesses. It is for this reason that external funding is available. This work needs to be done and if there is unnecessary delay and the flooding happens will Cllr Chalk be standing at the front justifying the delay to residents - no more likely standing at the back blaiming the Administration. Congratulations to my Shoebury colleagues who are making sure that the affected residents are in no doubt as to the risk and are pressing for early action. The issue as to which scheme is best is a discussion for another day but are SKIPP seriously suggesting that the Council should ignore the inevitable flooding and resulting damage and not carry out improvements to the flood defences in this area because there is a group of residents who are opposed? If so they are talking even more rubbish than usual and I wonder how many of the residents they refer to own houses and businesses in the flood danger area. This work has to be done.

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