Pumping station upgrades on the Levels

Major upgrades to pumping stations on the Somerset levels were announced yesterday. As part of the Government’s £5.2bn flood prevention fund, £3,712,508 of investment has been promised.

Most of the money will go to replace the following pumping stations:

  • Long Load
  • Huish Episcopi
  • Midelney
  • Westover
  • Northmoor

The reminder (£155,000) will be spent on a fish pass (Flights Hole weir) and improving safety (West Moor Reservoir). The funding will be accompanied by a consultation in the autumn, where the Government will look at how to better protect frequently flooded communities, following a call for evidence earlier this year.

Government says it will consider how to strengthen the assessment of local circumstances, such as where areas have flooded on multiple occasions, when allocating funding during the six-year plan.  To some extent Somerset should already be ahead of that game. We have a 20 year flood plan and in the Somerset Rivers Authority, a body routinely revising and updating it.

Local MP for Somerton & Frome, David Warburton, told us “Flooding devastates communities, as we have seen to our great cost across the Somerset Levels in very recent times.  So many homes and families in Somerset have fallen victim to this, and it is crucial that we continue to add to the armoury of protection, in order properly to tackle it and manage our environment, our businesses and homes.

Boosting the design and construction of flood alleviation schemes, while also putting the necessary measures in place to protect homes from flooding and coastal erosion will help to guard homes and families from the devastating impact of flooding, and will allow people to feel reassured about the safety of their home and their livelihoods.”

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