Flooding: Irwell Vale and Surrounding Areas

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

Alert me about debates like this

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

The Environment Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Taunton Deane, would be delighted to meet my hon. Friend. I know that the Radcliffe and Redvales scheme has been useful in his constituency.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale and Darwen made the valid point that this is not a linear scheme and the aim is not to move the water from one constituency to another and cause problems there. That is why it is important that we continue to deal with these flooding issues holistically, looking at these schemes as part of a wider picture. He mentioned the benefits of wider catchment approaches to flood management. I very much agree that a whole-catchment approach can unlock opportunities for areas such as the one we are discussing. The Government have committed to transforming the approach to local flood and coastal erosion risk planning. Every area of England will have a more strategic and comprehensive plan that will drive long-term local action. That will be in place by 2026.

The EA is already implementing an approach that considers wider-catchment benefits, and is taking that whole-catchment approach to new funding bids. It is collaborating with partners such as Moors for the Future and the National Trust to deliver a suite of natural flood management measures in the upper Irwell catchment. That includes moorland restoration on Holcombe moor and slow-the-flow measures in Buckden brook. It is very important that we continue to look at the wider picture when managing this water.

My hon. Friend the Member for Taunton Deane has asked me to reassure all hon. Members that flood and coastal risk management is a top priority for the Government. I reiterate that she would be delighted to meet Members from this area to discuss the specifics of the bid, the new plan, and how that funding gap can be filled. I thank all hon. Members for this informative debate.

Question put and agreed to.

Sitting suspended.