Flooding: Irwell Vale and Surrounding Areas

Part of NDAs: Universities – in Westminster Hall at 4:16 pm on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:16 pm, 29th June 2022

I would be delighted to undertake that. I met with the EA team earlier today, and one of my questions was whether part of the scheme could be delivered while we continue to work together on further sources of income for the remaining £8.5 million. I was told that it was not quite as easy as that, but I undertake to ask for a detailed answer for my right hon. Friend, because some of the wall rebuilding might alleviate some residents’ concerns.

The frequently flooded communities fund may not be the correct route for further funding applications, but I was firmly reassured by the EA that it is leaving no stone unturned to try to source the remainder of the funding, and that several routes are being considered. I encourage all interested colleagues to continue to work with the partners who are determined to make that happen.

I take on board my right hon. Friend’s point about how all communities must be protected. The fact that 100 hundred houses are affected is not in itself a barrier to finding a substantial amount of funding. He said that the area is on his dog walking route; it is a beautiful area, and there is biodiversity that needs to be protected as well. It is not just about the homes, although they are the most significant factor.