MP hosts first flooding event

FYLDE MP Mark Menzies has hosted the first meeting of the Fylde Flood Action Group.

The event saw representatives from the Environment Agency, National Farmers’ Union, Lancashire County Council and Fylde Borough Council meet with members of the farming community to discuss issues with flooding and drainage in the constituency.

It comes after farmers said they had faced years of misery and loss of earnings due to flooded fields blighting crops and grazing land.

During the meeting, officers from the Environment Agency agreed to look into what can be done to drain water from brooks and dykes in the short term while promising that they will come back with a number of options which they hope will resolve the problem altogether by the end of the year.

Afterwards, Mr Menzies said: “There were around 30 farmers in the room who have faced years of issues with waterlogged and unusable fields, which have cost them thousands of pounds in lost earnings.

“Obviously that meant the debate was fairly robust and the representatives from the Environment Agency faced some tough questions.

“However, they came back with some fairly positive answers and seem keen to see these problems resolved.

“For my part, I agreed to lobby the Government for any extra funding this work would require as it is one of the most important issues facing Fylde at the moment.

“For too long farms have been somewhat disregarded as just empty fields but they are businesses and people’s livelihoods.  They provide thousands of jobs around the country and are vital to the food chain.

“If this was a shop on the high street which was flooding, something would be done about it immediately and I am here to ensure these businesses are also protected and allowed to flourish.”

The topics under discussion during the meeting included using the hot summer months to pump water from the main water courses around Lytham to reduce levels as well as fixing the water gates at Dock Road. Environment Agency staff also explained overarching work being done as part of the East Lytham Project to hopefully resolve the issue once and for all.

County Councillor Paul Rigby and Fylde Councillor Tommy Threlfall were also in attendance to represent the views of residents.

Councillor Threllfall, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Partnerships at Fylde Council, said action was needed both in the short and long term.

He added: “I am pleased some progress is being made, all be it that it is slow and has not resolved the problems for the farmers yet.

“I would hope that action will be taken by the Environment Agency to help them in the shorter term while long term remedial work is also carried out.”

Comments are closed.