A county councillor and seasoned narrow boater is on the warpath after the Environment Agency (EA) increased its flood-risk rating for Spalding.
UKIP’s Richard Fairman, who represents Spalding East and Moulton, intends to tackle the EA head-on at Friday’s meeting of the county council flood and drainage committee in a bid to get the rating returned to “low” from the new rating of “medium”.
Coun Fairman said: “Three-and-a-half years ago, when I was first elected, the first thing I did – because I am on the flood and drainage committee – was to haul the EA over the coals for this very issue.
“Round here we are more protected than virtually anywhere else in the country because the drainage is so well engineered.”
He cited the drainage of the Fens begun by Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden in the 1600s to latter day works, including “canalising” of The River Welland and creation of The Coronation Channel as evidence that this area is safer than most.
Coun Fairman also says because the land is so flat here, floodwater would spread for miles but would never be at any great depth.
And he hit out at reports the flood-risk rating was computer generated rather than worked out through engineering experience.
Coun Fairman said he had the rating lowered last time he challenged it and wants to see it returned to low because otherwise people may face hardships through higher insurance premiums or through not getting insurance at all.
EA area flood risk manager Ben Thornley said: “The Environment Agency determines flood risk by using detailed modelling, which takes into account specific information about rivers, channels, flows, defences and their condition. The flood mapping has to account for all realistic possibilities – including the unlikely overtopping or failure of the defences.
“In Spalding, flood risk varies according to ground levels and proximity to river channels, and some parts of the town are at greater risk of flooding than others.
“People can view flood maps to check the level of risk for their properties at www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk and we are happy to discuss any concerns if you contact our customer service team on 03708 506506.”
• We checked the Lincolnshire Free Press address in The Crescent, Spalding, on the above website and it says: “This address is in a flood risk area.” The flood risk level is set at “medium”.
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