- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
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MIKE HEDGES AM CALL FOR REVISIONS TO FLOOD PLANS TO ALLOW WATER TO FLOOD SAFE AREAS
Speaking from his office at The Senedd, Mike Hedges said… ‘I greatly welcome Welsh Government investment in flood defences both on rivers and on the coast. It seems to me however that a percentage of these defences just involve building higher flood walls; the better solution is to divert the water on to land where it can flood but cause no harm to properties. Such a scheme opened a couple of years ago on the River Tawe and has been very successful in retaining flood water on land away from Houses. I would urge the Welsh Government to replicate this scheme in similar areas.’
Mike Hedges AM – I think there are serious problems with flooding. Minister, would you agree that you’re not going to solve the problem by just spending money and putting up higher and higher walls; the solution has got to be to find places for the water to go. And I talk often about the one on the River Tawe, where the water floods into a flood area, which is just land. Surely, if you’re going to spend money, spend money on areas that we can flood, and flood successfully, without doing any damage, rather than building higher and higher walls, until such time as we keep on spending more and more of our budget on making walls higher and higher, but, as the water levels rise, we end up with the situation that there’s water still coming over the walls.7
Rebecca Evans AM 13:34:40
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Mike Hedges is right that we have to invest in a range of solutions and preventative measures. So, an example—I think a very good example—is the RainScape initiative in Llanelli, which I know the Minister with responsibility for environment and rural affairs is particularly enthusiastic about. I know that she’s considering the future sustainable drainage systems legislation and what that might mean in terms of the introduction of that piece of work. And again, if we’re looking at building new housing estates, for example, we need to be looking at ways to manage the water on those estates. So, I know that this is an issue that the Minister’s very alive to, and it’s not just about building those high walls, as Mike Hedges suggested, but actually finding other ways in which to ensure that water drains off safely.