Floods: Northamptonshire

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of Andy Sawford Andy Sawford Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what flood prevention measures have been undertaken in (a) Corby and East Northamptonshire and (b) Northamptonshire in the last four years; and how many staff of (i) his Department and (ii) the Environment Agency have been employed on those matters.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Following severe flooding from the River Nene in 1998, significant investment in flood risk management structures and defences was undertaken in the following locations in Northamptonshire:

Thrapston (in the Corby and East Northamptonshire constituency);

Northampton;

Weedon; and

Kislingbury.

The following table details key flood risk management projects and studies undertaken in the last four years in Northamptonshire (including Corby and East Northamptonshire).

Project Name Area Lead Organisation/Risk Management Authority Description
Corby Flood Risk Management Study Corby and East Northants Corby Borough Council (CBC) Supporting CBC with flood risk technical advice in relation to the study which is: Reviewing all flood risk problems throughout the Borough of Corby Focussing on three main areas: Gainsborough Road, Pen Green and Cottingham Road
Reservoir Safety—Weldon Flood Storage Reservoir Corby and East Northants Environment Agency Works to the flood storage reservoir spillway. These works were undertaken to ensure the reservoir remained compliant with the Reservoirs Act 1975 and continues to provide effective flood storage.
Property Level Protection (PLP) Project Northants Environment Agency Isolated properties that fall within 'significant risk' categories—working in partnership with NCC to look at properties that also experience surface water flooding problems. This project is currently in the early stages of development with surveys being undertaken.
Wooldale Road Northampton Northants Environment Agency An embankment was created to reduce the risk of fluvial flooding on Wooldale road at a low spot adjacent to Wootton Brook.
Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) project bids Northants Environment Agency Developing and submitting bids for FDGiA funded Flood Risk Management projects. Coordinating bids from other Risk Management Authorities.
FDGiA Scheme Bids Northants Northants County Council (NCC) and other Risk Management Organisations Supporting NCC, and others, with the submission of their bids for FDGiA funded Flood Risk Management projects.
Section 19 Investigations Northants Northants County Council (NCC) Supporting NCC undertake Section 19 investigations in accordance with the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. This includes the investigation into flooding at Gainsborough Road. See the following link to NCC's website detailing the reports published to date: www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/Environ/flood/Pages/Flood-Investigations.aspx

With regard to maintenance, the Environment Agency has a planned programme for watercourse and flood defence inspections in accordance with nationally defined standards. Watercourses are inspected annually to assess the condition of flood defences and flow carrying capacities. Following asset inspections, maintenance is undertaken as appropriate, such as weed/vegetation clearance during the summer months, cutting grass on raised defences and bushing works during winter months.

An average of 15 Environment Agency staff (full-time equivalents) are engaged in flood risk management work (maintenance, incident management, partnership work and project work) in Northamptonshire. This is supplemented by contractors as required. It is not possible to provide a separate figure for the Corby and East Northamptonshire constituency.

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