Labour MP Bill Esterson welcomes Environment Agency’s confirmat

Bill Esterson, Kevin Moores and campaigners in Formby

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has welcomed the Environment Agency's confirmation that the area's key pumping stations will continue to be operated.

The Environment Agency launched a consultation document last year which proposed scaling back pumping at Altmouth and Crossens after its funding was slashed by the Tory-Lib Dem Government.

The proposals caused panic as residents turned to the Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson for help fearing the plans would threaten homes through Formby, Hightown, Crosby, Thornton, Lydiate, Maghull, Aintree Village, Melling and parts of West Lancs.

Bill immediately worked with home owners and land owners throughout the area organising public meetings to discuss the Environment Agency's document.


At one public meeting in Formby, Environment Agency spokesmen heard for themselves the residents' concerns.


The Agency has admitted its original consultation caused widespread concern and has now given assurances that tidal flooding in the area will not be affected by the review.


Bill Esterson welcomed the Environment Agency's reassurances that Altmouth and Crossens will not be affected.


Bill said: "The Environment Agency has admitted it made a mistake with its consultation last year and that it caused undue concern to homeowners and landowners alike throughout Sefton Central and West Lancashire.


"Meetings I attended on this issue, including the public meeting held in Redgate School in Formby, showed me and the Environment Agency the level of concern their consultation had caused.


"I am pleased that they have gone away and revised the consultation and given assurances that Altmouth and Crossens pumping station are safe.


"Both of these stations are crucial to the flood management in this area and it would not be acceptable to have their operation scaled back because of more government cuts.


"These are people's homes and livelihoods we are dealing with."


Bill EstersonBut Bill is still urging people to have their say on the ongoing Environment Agency consultation.


Bill said: "People need to make sure that their views are heard as part of the ongoing consultation on land drainage.


"I will be urging the parish and town councils in Sefton to submit their collective views as well as people who live and work here.


"We need to make sure that future management of flooding and land drainage is carried out in the interests of the communities throughout Sefton. 


"The heavy rains we have had recently shows how important effective drainage and flood management is. Ongoing review of flood management is needed, particularly in light of the increase in rainfall which we have experienced in recent years.


"If the ultimate findings of the consultation are that we need more government funding, then that is a battle we must have.


"The safeguarding of life and property in Sefton must be the first and foremost concern when it comes to flood management in Sefton."

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