MP calls for one group to tackle flood prevention
ONE single body should be tasked with preventing and tackling flooding, according to Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson.
With flooding now affecting parts of his constituency for the second time in two months, the Conservative MP said the Government needed to have a rethink about solving the problem.
He called for ministers to agree to have one body that would ultimately be responsible for the issue, rather than the current multi-agency approach.
And he suggested that the Environment Agency could take on the new role if the idea was agreed upon.
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He said: "I certainly think it needs more powers. In terms of house building, okay it's a statutory consultee, but it can't actually do any more than just say 'we don't think this should happen'.
"I'm not saying that it can be given the power to decide where houses should be built, but I think perhaps it does need more teeth in a number of ways."
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "It is not for us to comment on what Laurence Robertson said. It is an issue for the Government.
"At the moment we are focusing our efforts on warning and informing people on the current flooding situation."
Some people living in flood-hit villages near Tewkesbury, such as Tirley, Chaceley, Ashleworth and Apperley, have accused the Environment Agency of not doing enough to protect their communities.
They suspect that flood defences built at other places, such as Deerhurst, might have left them more vulnerable to displaced water.
Yesterday, the agency said it was looking into the matter.