Labour MP Bill Esterson says more questions to be answered about

Formby's Labour MP Bill Esterson listens to the Environment Agency presentation at the public meeting.


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said there more questions than answers following Friday evening's public meeting with the Environment Agency to discuss the future of flood management in the borough.

 
Bill organised the meeting at Redgate Primary School to give householders and farmers in Formby and the surrounding area the chance to quiz members of the Agency regarding its plans which were detailed in a controversial consultation document released in October.
 
When concerned residents raised fears that the plans would threaten homes through Formby, Hightown, Crosby, Thornton, Lydiate, Maghull, Aintree Village, Melling and parts of West Lancs, Bill worked with a newly formed community group to quiz the Environment Agency on its plans.
 
After discussing the concerns with the Environment Agency, Bill organised the public meeting so the farmers and residents could voice their concerns in person.

But following the meeting, Bill said the concerns were far from allayed.

Bill said: "From the very start the Environment Agency representatives held up their hands and admitted that the launch of the consultation had been far from satisfactory. In fact, they believe that the consultation document itself has sparked more fears than necessary.

"They have said they will learn from their mistakes and make sure that they improve the consultation process from here.

"This has included extending the consultation period which was due to end on December 16 but will now run until January 31.

"But after listening to what the Environment Agency had to say on Friday night, we were left with more questions than answers. Questions such as: Why is the way we manage flood management being changed now? Who is paying for the changes to the flood management in Sefton? Specifically what are the proposed changes and which areas are going to be affected?

"Steve Crowe and Andrew Brown from the Environment Agency who attended are going away to get the answers to the questions which have been raised and we will be organising another public meeting so they can report back."

Bill is now asking for people to email him directly with their questions so they can all be compiled and answers can be provided ahead of the next meeting.

Bill said: "I'd like to thank all the residents and farmers who attended the meeting and I'd also like to thank Steve and Andrew for coming along.

"We will be meeting again in the near future so that we can ensure that the whole community has the chance to have an input into the consultation on what is such an important issue for the whole of Sefton."

To submit your question to Bill Esterson, email: bill.esterson.mp@parliament.uk