27 Jan 2009 : Column 3P

27 Jan 2009 : Column 3P


Tuesday 27 January 2009


Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Flooding (Northamptonshire)

The Humble Petition of residents of Isham in the Wellingborough constituency and the surrounding area,


that the village of Isham has seriously flooded three times in the last five years. Previous to this there had been no problems with flooding. Developments of additional housing in the last few years have put pressure on the already strained and ill repaired sewerage and draining systems. The three recent floods have affected several areas of the village, bringing with it immense problems for the homes affected including the leakage of raw sewage. The main trunk road from Wellingborough to Kettering, the A509 also flooded and had to be temporarily closed.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to liaise with the Parish Council of Isham, the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire County Council and Anglian Water to find a solution to the problem of local flooding and to properly maintain the local sewerage system.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c. —[Presented by Mr. Peter Bone , Official Report, 10 December 2008; Vol. 485, c. 647 .]


27 Jan 2009 : Column 4P

Observations from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

Thank you for your Petition of 10 December 2008 on the subject of flooding affecting the village of Isham. I have been asked to reply as policy on flood risk management is the responsibility of DEFRA.

I am sorry to learn of the flooding incidents that have affected Isham. I understand that these problems arise from inadequacies in the surface water drainage system in the village. I know that Anglian Water have been working with the relevant Councils to identify the precise causes for the flooding and ways of remedying them. The solution to the flooding will I understand involve redirecting the surface water from the foul sewer to a suitable surface water drainage system, and Anglian Water are working with the Highways Agency to ensure the work is completed. I do of course urge all the relevant bodies to work together to find lasting solutions to the problems in Isham.

The Government take very seriously the issues around flooding in urban areas and, in response to Sir Michael Pitt’s report into the major flooding events in Summer 2007, announced that the Environment Agency will have a new national strategic overview role for all forms of flood risk and local authorities (identified as County Councils or Unitary authorities) will be taking responsibility for local groundwater and surface water management for which no body has previously been clearly responsible. The Agency will work closely with local authorities on their on-the ground management of surface water flooding so that comprehensive assessments of local flood risk will be possible for the first time. I very much hope that this and other changes announced in my response to Sir Michael Pitt’s report will help reduce the number of instances of serious flooding as experienced in Isham.

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