Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flooding Plans Cash Draw Row

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flooding Plans Cash Draw Row

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul James and Vivienne Morgan

The Government was last night challenged to put its money where its mouth is over warnings that the North-East faces a future of floods misery.

The call followed the launch yesterday of a new 20-year strategy to tackle the effects of climate change and global warming.

Ministers yesterday warned of more future flooding problems in parts of Northumberland and County Durham, suggesting that minor roads could be used as flood channels and buffer zones be created on floodplains.

But with a question mark hanging over the funding of new defences, councils have demanded to know where the massive amount of cash required will come from.

And with constant pressure put on local authorities to build new homes on floodplains, they have called on Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to outline exactly where new developments can be built.

Launching the plans, named Making Space For Water, Environment Minister Elliot Morley said: "Climate change means we may well see worse flooding in the future.

"We must factor in and plan for this across the board, working closely with the insurance industry and other interested parties, so that the adverse consequences for people and for businesses are minimised."

In Northumberland, areas including Hexham, Corbridge, Ponteland and Morpeth all suffered at the hands of devastating floods in 2000, with parts of Blyth and Wooler also classed as at-risk towns. Deputy leader of

Morpeth's Conservative group, Coun Glen Sanderson, said: There's always been a question mark over the level of funding and resources available to the Environment Agency.

"Morpeth suffers very badly from flooding. A lot of money needs to be spent and I just hope it's going to be made available. Quite apart from the immense human suffering flooding causes, the bill insurance companies have to pick up is huge. …

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