Cumbria Crack

Keswick MP pushes for increased flood reduction measures

Trudy Harrison MP

[T]he MP for Keswick is pushing for increased flood reduction measures following a number of catastrophic floods.

Supporting the work carried out by Keswick Flood Action Group, Trudy Harrison MP has written to United Utilities CEO, Steve Mogford urging the water company to consider making amendments to their West Coast Pipeline Scheme, which will supply water to homes and businesses from Thirlmere Reservoir.

Mrs Harrison is asking the water company to install new valves to both the Upper and Lower Scour valves which would allow more water to be released in the inevitable event of heavy rain, allowing more capacity for storm water in the reservoir.

The MP has also recently written to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for DEFRA to echo the concerns of residents as well as highlighting the proposed solution.

Mrs Harrison, said: “As part of its £300 million West Coast Pipeline scheme, United Utilities is considering making amendments to some of the dam’s valves to enable an increased water release.

“During periods of heavy rain this will undoubtedly help, but I remain concerned that a much greater release capacity is required to really make a real difference.

“Planned and controlled release of water ahead of a storm would create more capacity in the reservoir which would at least mitigate the effects of severe flooding seen after recent, very heavy rain.”

The current plans for the £300 million pipeline project involves laying more than 60 miles of pipe network underground, to supply water to homes and businesses from Thirlmere Reservoir.

The project, which will be completed by 2020, also includes a new water treatment works, two service reservoirs and a pumping station.

Rod Donnington-Smith, spokesperson for the Keswick Flood Action Group, said: “Upstream storage is seen by KFAG as being an essential part of a flood prevention strategy for Keswick as well as for the whole Derwent Catchment.

“Thirlmere reservoir, with appropriate amendments made to the dam’s water release valves together with a revised water level management policy, would help to provide meaningful flood storage at Thirlmere and thereby offer potentially significant reduced future flood risk from the River Greta.”

Trudy Harrison MP, added: “Only last week, our communities saw yet more evidence of the devastation flooding can bring. I am determined to help our towns and villages be better prepared and have efficient flood prevention measures in place.”

In November, DEFRA announced an additional £15m to enable the Government to test new approaches to help determine where natural measures can be most effective.

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