Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:34 pm on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee 2:34 pm, 4th March 2020

It is regular reading for the grandfather of Goole. The forthcoming proposed amendment to the Act may seem like a small one, to increase the height of the Leigh flood storage area, but it will protect many lives. The Leigh flood storage area is a vital piece of infrastructure on the River Medway, without which the town of Tonbridge would be constantly vulnerable. I urge those who are not familiar with it to visit, particularly now that the A21 is fixed. It helps to store water and protect our town, and we have seen it used many times in not only the past few weeks but the past few years, protecting thousands of homes.

The enlargement project comes with unqualified local support. In addition to Government funding, it is supported by Kent County Council. I pay tribute to the work that the county council has done and the council leader, Roger Gough, for his efforts. Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, led well by Nicolas Heslop, has done extremely impressive work as well.

Local businesses have also chipped in and done their bit. As a Conservative Administration, we believe that people should contribute to their own protection, and that is exactly what many of these businesses are doing. One of the great successes of the Government intervention after the 2013 Christmas floods was the establishment of the Medway Flood Partnership, bringing together all the relevant organisations to develop a plan for flood relief on the Medway catchment area.