Monday, December 10, 2007

Gilberdyke - Flooding update

With Gilberdyke Flood Action Group Chairman Yvonne Terry on Gilberdyke's Station Road

At last weeks meeting of the Gilberdyke Flood Action Group the discussion centred on the disturbing news that the Environment Agency has moved the goal posts, and performed a U turn regarding funding of local flood defence projects through the Medium Term Plan (MTP) application process. A number of questions were raised regarding the actions of the Environment Agency, Natural England, DEFRA, the ERYC and the Lower Ouse Internal Drainage Board, before and after the June 25th floods.

There was concern that six months on after the floods, as far as the various agencies were concerned, Gilberdyke was turning into the forgotten village. It was established that there are some 31 houses that will still not be habitable before Christmas, and the residents of 13 of these properties are living in not large static, but small touring caravans.

The group had invited Mr Graham Bate of A & F Consulting Engineers to discuss the flooding problems and look to finding a permanent solution. The discussion focussed on a number of key issues such as increased building on land that had been historically wet, householders filling in dykes over the years, and the concretisation of much of the village. It was established that Westbrook Road and Station Road must be the priority areas as this was where the majority of the house flooding occurred in June, and that these houses had become very close to flooding in the recent past.

But it was acknowledged that without the water being able to run from the village down to the river at Blacktoft, very little useful flood defence work within the village would be possible. It was deemed imperative that the Environment Agency funds the MTP application to widen and deepen the dykes down to Blacktoft and provide a pumping station to lift the water into the river.

Gilberdyke Flood Action Group Chairman, Yvonne Terry says, “Yes, there was excessive rainfall on the 25th June, but what was abundantly clear was the inadequacies of the existing infrastructure for drainage/sewerage/drains to cope with a volume of water, Gilberdyke being one of many places. It doesn’t matter how few or how many houses were flooded, any house flooded is not good enough. The authorities have a responsibility to ensure flooding is stopped; the Environment Agency are reneging on their responsibilities if they do not fund all of these Medium Term Plan schemes”.

Yvonne continues, ”Taxes, rates and levies have all been taken from us over many years and yet the fabric of our infrastructure has been allowed to be neglected and cannot cope with the requirements of modern society and climate change. There is no question; increased funding has to be found to deliver all these local flood defence projects”.

Cllr Paul Robinson adds, “I have seen flood victims in many parts of Hull and the East Riding, some of which have moved back into their properties, some are still in caravans or rented accommodation, some sleeping upstairs whilst living in a caravan during the day, some staying with relatives, and some people that lived with the mess as they did not want to or could not move out. But I am most concerned that those residents, particularly those in bungalows like we see down Gilberdyke’s Station Road, who are going to be spending Christmas in small caravans parked in their front gardens. The days and nights over the Christmas period could be a sad and quiet time for some of Gilberdyke’s residents”.


John said...

In my opinion, quite frankly the level of service we as council tax payers receive is appalling. It seems to me that the County Council has become a sprawling, innefective organisation which in the minds of too many seems to exist to provide jobs for officers instead of a service to its inhabitants. Historically prior to the creation of Humberside and its successor the East Riding Council the area enjoyed a far higher level of service from Howden Rural District Council and the Lower Ouse Drainage Board under Mr Kitchen who lived in the loality instead of outside the area. Development has been allowed to take place, afecting the drainage and some original ditches have been blocked or deliberatiely filled in.
It is past time for this to be rectified and the EA must be told in no uncertain terms that we as occupants of the area are not prepared to stand by while they pontificate instead of carrying out their correct duties. Mud flats cannot and must not take precedence over people and the head of the EA should resign to make way for someone with the determination to effectively restore the service to a level which will satisfy the areas needs.
The County Councillors must stand up and be counted and the Council should take legal action if neccessary to ensure that funds are correctly spent on drainage, filled in ditches are cleared by landowners if not adopted and a repeat of the flooding not allowed to happen.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what sticks in my gullet...Prince William has been approved to train as a pilot. It costs at least £2.5m to train a pilot on fixed and rotary wing aircraft and that money is being completely wasted on him. Considering this area could benefit significantly from a new pumping station and infrastructure it is a disgraceful waste of resources. I despair.