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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter asks Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the treasury, for written promise on Yalding flood defence funds

27 February 2014
by James Walker

The leader of Kent County Council has called on the government to commit themselves in writing to improving Yalding’s flood defences.

In an open letter sent to Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the treasury, Paul Carter called on Parliament to contribute 50% of funding needed to improve flood defences.

It is thought around £30m is needed to protect the flood-hit village, which Mr Alexander visited last week.

Government minister Danny Alexander visits Yalding

Government minister Danny Alexander visits Yalding

Cllr Carter has pledged that the authority would find the remaining half of any grant, once it has assurances from Whitehall.

He said: “What we don’t want to do is spend a lot of time, energy and money on producing drawings and designs for a flood defence scheme for Yalding only to find that the government aren’t going to pay us 50%.

“Livelihoods and lives are at risk in Yalding which seems in the 50 to 60 years to have flooded every 10 years. That is unacceptable.”

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter

In his visit last week Mr Alexander promised that he would press for the work to be done as
soon as possible and said there would be no barrier from the treasury.

Two schemes are being explored – one is increasing the capacity of the Leigh Barrier at a cost of £11million.

A second, more expensive idea is to create a new storage area on a downstream section of the Lower Beult.

The location of this is commercially sensitive but its construction is likely to cost £25 million.

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