MP wants an end to floods misery in the Fens

Scenes like this prompted MP Steve Barclay to call a 'summit' of all those involved in flood defence. He wants action on...

Scenes like this prompted MP Steve Barclay to call a 'summit' of all those involved in flood defence. He wants action on floods that ruined Christmas for some of his constituents. - Credit: Archant

MP Steve Barclay has taken the lead in resolving flooding problems across many parts of Fenland.  

He called together agencies involved in flood defence to an online ‘summit’. 

Although steering short of reading the riot act, the MP for NE Cambs – and Chief Secretary of the Treasury – wants answers and resolution.  

He highlighted specific areas where he felt flooding before Christmas had been particularly bad such as March, Coates and Tydd St Giles.  

Those attending included representatives from Anglian Water, Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, and the Middle Level Commissioners. 

He described their approach as “collaborative and constructive”. 

Mr Barclay said: “Anyone can see from the news that more extreme weather instances, such as the heavy rainfall locally over Christmas and nationally last week, are occurring more frequently across the country.  

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“However, that’s no consolation for the residents who spent the festive period cleaning out flooded homes.” 

Mr Barclay wants “greater transparency” between the different agencies involved and to let residents have information “about what’s being done”. 

The MP said that some of the issues discussed included known areas for flooding.  

Problems in Morton Avenue “have continued for a number of years” and he wants an update on how these are being tackled. 

He said the ‘summit’ touched upon potential funding options to prevent future flooding in known hotspots, and any short-term fixes and maintenance issues that could be overcome.  

Mr Barclay said the agencies represented agreed to a number of actions, including a review of outstanding maintenance work. 

That work will be collated by Fenland Council who will also provide information where residents have extended gardens by filling in drainage ditches. 

He said there was also an investigation into the specific local flooding over Christmas which Cambridgeshire County Council hope to conclude by Easter (known as a section 19 investigation). 

Anglian Water is also undertaking looking at specific areas such as Morton Avenue “where a number of challenges have been identified”. 

There was also the example of Coates, too, where he said the pumping station was overwhelmed. 

Bids for funding are to made to the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee for improvements. 

“I know there is also an extraordinary meeting of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Flood and Water Partnership early next month to look at this further,” he said.  

“I will follow up again with local agencies in the weeks ahead.”