Environment Agency flood chief tours Devon to see flood defences
James Morrish, chairman of the South West’s Regional Flood Defence Committee, will travel to Tipton St John and Newton Poppleford to inspect the Local Levy work and flood risk areas in Ottery St Mary.
This will include meeting the workers from the Agency’s operations team, who carry out the work on flood defences.
James Morrish will be joined on the tour by local committee members Peter Bowden, Roger Giles and Roger Hunt.
Works were recently completed on the Back Brook at Newton Poppleford to reduce the risk of flooding to a small number of properties in the area.
The Local Levy is a locally-raised source of income for our South West and Wessex Regional Flood Defence Committees. The income is raised by way of a levy on the county councils and unitary authorities within the committee boundaries, voted for by the county council and unitary authority member of the committee.
The local levy is used to support, with the approval of the relevant committee, flood risk management projects that are not considered to be national priorities and hence do not attract national funding through flood defence grant in aid. The local levy allows locally important projects to go ahead to reduce the risk of flooding within the committee area.
The works in Newton Poppleford consisted of the construction of a new floodbank and associated drainage works at Poppleford Bridge. It is hoped the work will help reduce the risk of flood water flowing into local properties during heavy rainfall.
In addition, a road ramp was built 1km downstream of Poppleford Bridge together with modifications to fencing to increase flow into the River Otter and to reduce flood risk to properties to the South side of Back Lane bridge.
Environmental enhancement was built into the overall works with the provision of tree planting, undertaken as a community event and seeding of re-graded land with a wildflower seed mix. Works were completed with the support of Newton Poppleford Parish Council.
‘Local levy funding plays an essential role, enabling committee members to use their discretion to fund and support flood alleviation schemes that are considered to be of local importance. The decision also means we can continue our partnership with local authorities to help them with their significant new responsibilities under the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act,’ said James.
‘We are doing everything we can to help our local communities protect their families, homes and businesses. We can’t prevent flooding altogether, but we can help people to minimise the damage.’
(from a press release)