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Community drop-in events look at short list of preferred options for future flood risk management in Cumbria

[A] series of community drop in events looking at the short list of preferred options for future flood risk management begin this month.

The sessions are part of the appraisal process, to identify the best ways of investing up to £72 million the government allocated to Cumbria for improved flood defences following storms Desmond and Eva in 2015.

Following on from the community events in summer 2017, when residents had the opportunity to see the long list of options for future flood risk management at drop-in sessions and online, the Environment Agency is holding 15 events based on the three river catchments in Cumbria, to share the short list of refined options.

This is an update on the ‘appraisal work’ which the government provided £3 million of funding to complete. The purpose of this work is to ensure we implement the right schemes for those communities, where it is proven that additional flood risk management measures are required based on strong scientific evidence.

The appraisal work has been carried out by multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, economists and environmental professionals using the Flood Investigation Reports and local and historic flood information to evaluate the options to reduce flood risk. These projects are organised by settlement, however they consider how flood risk can be reduced along the whole of a river catchment – from source to sea.

Community drop-in sessions are being held in key locations across the County and will provide an opportunity for residents to view options and provide feedback.

For those unable to attend, the information will also be available online following the drop in sessions at www.cumbriastrategicfloodpartnership.org . Anyone without access to a computer or smartphone at home can get online via computers at their local library.

Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager, Andy Brown said: “Over the past two years we have been working to identity the best way to use this investment to protect communities. This has included re-examining the river systems in Cumbria.

“We have been carrying out modelling to find the right locations and schemes for those communities where additional defences are proven based on strong scientific evidence to provide better flood risk management and resilience.

“We shared the long list of options with communities in summer of 2017. Now, we are returning to these communities with a shorter list of refined options, to make the decision on which options to take forward.

“Over 40 meetings and events have been held in Cumbria since December 2015. Local communities, partners and individuals impacted by flooding are being involved in the appraisal process at every stage, and we will continue to work in this way through the delivery of projects.

“At this stage no decisions have been made – nothing is set in stone. Our aim is to develop and deliver flood risk options that are justified and acceptable to all interested and affected parties.

“We continue to work in partnership at a county, catchment and community scale to find the best ways to manage flood risk to residents and businesses across Cumbria.

“We strongly encourage residents to come along to the sessions. We are providing people with opportunities to bring local knowledge and to share their views.”

Drop-in sessions will be held at:

  • Lower Eden – 26 Jan, Carlisle, Carlisle FC, 2-7pm
  • Upper Eden – 30 Jan, Pooley Bridge & Eamont Bridge, Eamont Bridge Village Hall, 2-7pm
  • Upper Eden – 1 Feb, Appleby, Appleby Public Hall, 2-7pm
  • Lower Eden – 13 Feb, Low Crosby and Warwick Bridge, Low Crosby Village Hall, 2-6.30pm
  • Lower Derwent & West – 7 March, Cockermouth, Cockermouth Town Hall, 2-7pm
  • Upper Derwent – 13 March, Keswick and Braithwaite, Skiddaw Hotel, Keswick, 2-7pm
  • Lower Derwent & West – 20 March, Workington, St Michael’s Church, 2-7pm
  • Lower Derwent & West- 28 March, Wigton, Cumberland Room, Market Hall, Wigton 2-7pm
  • Lower Derwent & West – May date TBC, Flimby and Maryport, location TBC, 2-7pm
  • Kent & Leven– 7 Feb, Kendal, Kendal Town Hall, 2-7pm
  • Kent & Leven– 8 Feb, Ings, Staveley and Burneside, Staveley Village Hall, 2-7pm
  • Kent & Leven – 27 Feb, Ambleside and Grasmere, Ambleside Library, 2-7pm
  • Kent & Leven – 6 March, Windermere Town and Troutbeck Bridge, Marchesi Centre, Windermere, 2-7pm
  • Kent & Leven – 14 March, Windermere Lake, Newby Bridge and Backbarrow, Outback Hall, Leven Valley Primary School, 2-7pm

More information about flood risk management and the preferred options are available on the Cumbria Strategic Flood Partnership website www.cumbriastrategicfloodpartnership.org

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