My thoughts are with all those affected by the awful flooding in recent days, and I would like to thank everyone who has helped - from councillors, emergency workers, the drainage boards and charities to good neighbours looking after each other.
I am, however, deeply troubled by the questions that have been raised regarding the operation of Horncastle’s Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Over the weekend, I spoke to the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, Philip Duffy, to demand an urgent examination into what happened.
The Environment Agency’s subsequent acknowledgment that the Scheme did not work as intended will anger my constituents whose homes, businesses and farms have been damaged by flooding. They face months of upheaval as they try to repair the harm caused, with significant financial burdens for them all.
The Environment Agency must now act urgently to complete its investigations, explain how this failure came about and how such failure will be avoided in the future. They should also justify why £8 million-worth of taxpayers’ investment into the flood scheme was let down at the moment it was needed.
My office and I have been working tirelessly to support residents affected by this flooding and I would urge anyone struggling to please get in touch with me.