Spend £6.5m Government high street money on flood defences, residents urge

Flooding in March

Some residents feel £6.5m of Government funding to regenerate March High Street should go towards drainage and flood defences. - Credit: MP Steve Barclay's office

As March High Street is set to receive £6.5m of Government funding, some residents argue the cash would be better spent on drainage and flood defences.

Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, announced regeneration funding had been secured for the town in a Facebook post on Boxing Day.

“This funding is a great boost for our area as we start 2021,” he said.

MP Steve Barclay announced on Boxing Day that the Government has provided March with £6.4m for a major regeneration project 

MP Steve Barclay announced March High Street is set to receive £6.5m in Government funding on Boxing Day. - Credit: Archant

While a handful welcomed the news, those affected by floods at Christmas feel a bigger priority should be protecting homes and properties from flooding.

Several voiced their opinions across the Facebook pages of the MP and this newspaper when the news of the March High Street funding was shared.


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Alison Goult said: “Maybe spend it on flood defences instead.

“Our house flooded for the second time. Now we can look forward to spending the rest of our lives in fear every time it rains.

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“Unless it happens to you, you really don't know how devastating this is.”

Christmas Eve flooding in Morton Avenue, March

Morton Avenue in March was among the affected areas over the festive period. - Credit: Ian Carter

Robert Goult added: “When you have been made homeless again due to flooding again and have to see your loved ones in pain and distress, you would see it differently.”

Wolf Waite commented on Steve Barclay’s Facebook page: “Maybe you should look into real issues like sorting out the drainage issues before agreeing to new housing estates or sorting the roads as they are becoming very dangerous with deep cracks and subsidence on most roads.

“As after the heavy rain we had on the December 23 the rain washed away the top layer of tarmac outside my house and a few comments said it may have created a sink hole now...”

Christmas Eve 2020 flooding in Waveney Drive, March.

Christmas Eve 2020 flooding in Waveney Drive, March. - Credit: Ian Carter

This newspaper revealed how Anglian Water told councillors about its work to protect homes from flooding at a council meeting in early December.

Then, just two weeks later, the area flooded again.

An Anglian Water spokesperson later said: “Drainage systems are complex and managed by a number of organisations including councils, private drainage companies, the Environment Agency and Anglian Water amongst others, and we work very closely with all of them.

“They’re not designed to carry water from rivers that have burst or spilled over, or the volume of floodwater we’ve seen following this week’s rain, which is what has caused the flooding we’ve seen.”


Here's more public comments from social media...  

Perhaps Steve Barclay you should look a little further afield because my parents that live down a cul-de-sac in March get flooded every time it rains hard. 

They are old age pensioners and struggle to cope with this sort of thing...

Paul Hudson

Commented on MP Steve Barclay’s Facebook page


Would have been better to spend the money on the drain system due to the recent flooding and the unfortunate people of March that was affected recently.

Paulene Cox

Commented on MP Steve Barclay’s Facebook page 


What the hell are you going to spend £6.5m on in March High Street?? 

More takeaways, charity shops and estate agents?? 

Maybe you should look into real issues like sorting out the drainage issues before agreeing to new housing estates or sorting the roads as they are becoming very dangerous with deep cracks and subsidence on most roads. 

After the heavy rain, we had on the 23rd December the rain washed away the top layer of tarmac outside my house and a few comments said it may have created a sink hole now. 

Wolf Waite

Commented on MP Steve Barclay’s Facebook page 


When you have been made homeless again due to flooding again and have to see your loved ones in pain and distress, you would see it differently...

Robert Goult

Commented on a Cambs Times story


The money should be spent on drainage and flood defences as a priority rather than making the high street look more pretty. 

Too many people live in fear of being flooded out every time it rains! 

Zoe Robinson

Commented on a Cambs Times story 


Maybe spend it on flood defences instead. 

Our house flooded for the second time. 

Now we can look forward to spending the rest of our lives in fear every time it rains. 

Unless it happens to you, you really don't know how devastating this is. 

Alison Goult

Commented on a Cambs Times story 


I'll second Alison Goult’s comment... Maybe the money should be spent ensuring that the towns flood defences are improved.  

Having a small business in town, my little shop floods due to the poor drainage system. I reckon the council could spare a little money for that. 

Ellen Lewis Jnr

Commented on a Cambs Times story 


Waste of money. Should be spent on improving drainage and road repairs. 

Donna Oldfield

Commented on a Cambs Times story


Drainage and flood defence first. 

Michael Harte

Commented on a Cambs Times story


Need to improve the roads and drainage before they even look at the town centre.

Sally Welbourne

Commented on a Cambs Times story

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