‘Forget green energy investments, floods are hitting our homes now,’ says councillor

A senior Lincolnshire councillor has called on central government for greater investment in flood management infrastructure following unprecedented levels of rainfall.

Although acknowledging that Parliament has been dissolved until the General Election, Lincolnshire county councillor Colin Davie, portfolio holder for Economic Development, Environment, and Planning, believes that whoever is in power after July 4 needs to urgently address the issue of flooding across the county.

During the Flood & Water Management Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday, June 24, Cllr Davie presented findings from the Environment Agency’s Water Situation Report for Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire for May 2024.

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The report outlined that the two counties had above-average rainfall of 63 millimetres last month, which was 124% of the long-term average. As a result, May has been listed as the ninth consecutive month with above-average rainfall.

It also noted that it has been the wettest September to May period across Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire since records began in 1871.

Due to the increased rainfall, residents from across the county have argued that it is overloading sewer drains, exacerbating the situation during flooding events.

Acknowledging the impact storms Babet and Henk had on the county in October last year and January, the Conservative councillor noted that LCC, as the lead flood authority, is dealing with an unprecedented number of Section 17 investigations.

“As previously reported, the number of investigations and affected properties is at a scale we have never previously experienced from storm events, and this has had a devastating impact across the whole of Lincolnshire on individuals, communities, and businesses,” he said.

“As we’re in an election period and we’re going to have a new government after July 4, any new government is going to have to prioritise in a much greater way strategic investment into infrastructure related to flood management.

“It is no longer acceptable that we can spend tens of billions of pounds investing in green technologies if we don’t address the outcomes of weather impacts and climate change that are happening today.

“We need a greater investment into this area than any government has previously made, and at the moment I can’t see where the commitment to this investment is coming from across the political spectrum.”

When asked by South Kesteven District Council leader Ashley Baxter (Independent) about whether he had any update on the proposed Lincolnshire Reservoir slated for construction on the border of South and North Kesteven, Cllr Davie underlined the importance of the project.

“This country has failed to invest in the infrastructure we need; new reservoirs are an important part of providing infrastructure for the future,” he responded.

“We have a challenging period ahead, and I think we all recognise the events of Storms Babet and Henk have caused enormous damage and enormous cost of repair, and that money probably isn’t there at the moment.

“There needs to be a real discussion about the importance of Lincolnshire’s land and food production and how we protect our communities with the government. Whoever’s in charge on July 5 needs to make it an urgent priority.”

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