Memorandum submitted by Angela C Smith
MP (FL MP 07)
Many thanks for the request for input into the
terms of reference for the Flooding inquiry.
The experience in Sheffield was devastating,
of course. Many of Sheffield's watercourses are fed by rainfall
from the Peak, and indeed the river Don itself has its source
in the Peak. At the moment the blanket bogs of the Peak are badly
degraded by pollution, over-grazing by sheep and drainage work.
The net impact of this is ecological failure, with the bogs unable
to hold water as they should. Consequently, this water comes
down off the Peak District hills into the rivers, etc.
It is of course true that the rainfall of early
June was such that flooding was probably inevitable in Sheffield,
but it is the view of many that the severity of the flooding would
have been reduced if the blanket bog of the Peak had been in better
condition. If you like, nature's own defences failed because
of their degradation at the hand of man.
I would like the committee to look at this issue.
I know that DEFRA are co-funding work to restore the bogs with
water companies such as United Utilities, now is the time I believe
to press home the need to prioritize programmes such as this because
of their contribution to effective water management.
Hope this helps
Angela C Smith MP