Memorandum submitted by Martin Horwood
MP (FL MP 02)
Seven questions resulting from the aftermath
of the severe flooding event in and around my constituency:
1. Why did critical facilities such as the
Mythe pumping station and the Walham electricity substation not
have adequate flood defences in place?
2. Why, when we had nearly a week's notice
of the rains, were those homes and businesses at risk of flash
flooding still not protected with sandbags or diversionary trenches?
3. Why has so much damage in Cheltenham
happened on uphill areas where culverts and drains seem to have
been poorly maintained making brooks and streams normally a few
inches deep rise up to 15 feet to inundate nearby homes?
4. Why have houses in the centre of Cheltenham
been flooded twice in a month when our brand new flood alleviation
scheme costing £23 million was supposed to protect against
a once in 100 year flood?
5. How will the government and the insurance
industry respond to those people whose houses have never flooded
before but who now face falling house prices and spiralling insurance
6. With climate change promising many more
events like this, will the government rethink its plans to plough
ahead with hundreds of thousands of new homes on Greenfield sites
in flood risk areas like Gloucestershire regardless of the environmental
7. Ofwat have already conceded that the
loss of water supply was beyond Severn Trent's control, meaning
that they will not be liable for compensating those customers
who went without water. I would like to know how they have reached
this decision before the review has taken place. It is not impossible
to conceive that Severn Trent might have been able to prevent
the inundation of the pumping station, in spite of the unprecedented
nature of the floods. Those in charge at the Walham electricity
substation were able to do this, for example. Is the Ofwat decision
therefore not a little premature?
Martin Horwood MP