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Preparations for floods ‘need urgent review’

Norfolk County Council’s flood preparations should be independently verified, says Ed Maxfield, leader of the Lib Dem opposition group.

County Hall has a flood risk plan to ensure it can react efficiently to any incidents and says a review of its policies will be complete this year.

But Mr Maxfield said: “The flood risk plan is five years old – a lot has changed in that time. We’ve had five years of house building and cuts to local government spending. We need to be sure there is enough money in the pot to tackle the problem.”

Welney flooding. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary
Welney flooding. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

He added: “With every passing day we become more aware of the threat of climate change and sometimes it feels like Norfolk is right on the front line.

“Emergency services, council workers and communities coped brilliantly with the tidal surge that hit our coast in 2013 but would we now be able to cope with river flooding in the same way?”

Mr Maxfield said 14,000 homes in the county were at risk of “huge and devastating” impact.

Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Flood management is not something a single council can deliver, and our work has to include our partners at district level, Anglian Water, the Environment Agency and more.”

He added: “Our residents can have confidence that we are ready to respond to flooding swiftly, effectively and professionally.”

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