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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant promises to do all she can to stop future floods devastating Yalding

09 March 2014
by James Walker

Helen Grant has promised she will do everything she can to ensure Yalding gets the flood defences it needs to prevent a repeat of the recent flooding.

The MP for Maidstone and the Weald met with local councils, emergency services and the Environment Agency on Friday, February 28 to discuss the continual flooding and hopes to secure two multi- million pound developments.

The first is for an £11 million upgrade to the Leigh Barrier and the second is for a £25 million storage area to be built on a commercially sensitive area of the Lower Beult.

Speaking at King Street’s Maidstone House after the meeting Mrs Grant said: “If we can get the right defences which can cope extreme weather I will do everything I can to secure capital investment.

“I will be working closely with Kent County Council and key stakeholders to lobby for government commitment to proposed flood defences and to consider regular dredging as necessary.

“I will do this by writing to the treasury and raise the issue personally with relevant ministers."

Helen Grant organised the meeting in Maidstone House

Helen Grant organised the meeting in Maidstone House

Helen Grant organised the meeting in Maidstone House

Helen Grant organised the meeting in Maidstone House

“I remain concerned for tourism in the area and I want people to know that we are open for business and I want those that work in the businesses to know support is there if they need it.

“I will also publish a full report of the meeting to reinforce the case for funding and to ensure the voices of those affected by the floods reverberate loudly in Westminster.”

Andrew Pearce, area manager for the Environment Agency, added that: “Both [water storage] schemes were supported by everyone in the meeting and a letter sent by Paul Carter, [leader of the county council] last week that asks for government funding is an important first step.”

Despite the enthusiasm for both schemes it could be 18 months before the EA is able to present detailed plans to get funding.

The are more immediate plans to improve flood defences.

The EA is in the process of changing Yalding’s flood warning area.

Under the current status the village shares flood warnings with Maidstone, despite having a significantly different geography.

It is hoped that it will be separated before Winter to provide more specific information.

Yalding parish council is also considering bringing in a flood warden scheme and updates to the EA website are planned.

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