Posted by: westlancashirerecord | September 16, 2016

Who Remembers The Internal Drainage Board Crisis?

Have the widespread floods today brought back memories of the April meeting in Halsall? We wrote “The internal drainage board for Alt Crossens is one step closer after more than 95% of farmers and landowners within the Alt Crossens catchment in West Lancashire voted in favour of investigating the creation of an Internal Drainage Board (IDB). Readers will recall the public meeting held in February at the Memorial Hall when Parish Councillor Neil Campbell thanked so many people for making the effort to turn out and said “This was localism at its finest!” as over 200 attended”. All of this at  risk alt%20crossens%20-%20aerials

But is the Alt Crossens Internal Drainage Board really any closer? Or is it history? Perhaps an update is due, because as sure as night follows day there will be local floods, and there will be blame placed at the doors of those who did nothing.

Who will ever forget that on 18 December 2013 the Tory Borough Council Resolved “That the EA be advised that this Council is not currently persuaded that the case has been made for the creation of an Internal Drainage Board as set out in Appendix 5. F. That concern for the Council Tax payers of West Lancashire be placed on record if a special levy were to be introduced, particularly at a time of financial austerity”. Nearly three years on and where are we?

“Stemming the flow after . As the Environment Agency downscales and withdraws maintenance of the region’s rivers and drainage systems, it’s been left to the NFU (alongside its members and partners) to prevent productive land from being flooded before. Year on year reductions in the level and quality of maintenance carried out on the region’s rivers and drainage systems by the Environment Agency (EA) is an issue for all farmers”.

And what about it being an issue for homeowners? How long ago did the Alt Crossens Advisory Group deem an Internal Drainage Board to be the best technical option in taking over the drainage system within the Alt Crossens Catchment? This had been supported by a high proportion of farmers in the area. The majority of parties were working towards this, however there was increasing resistance from West Lancashire Borough Council and as the formation of a Drainage Board relies on agreement from both the landowners and councils, this was now an issue. As the withdrawal of managing the catchment has come from Government policy, there was a feeling that they should be more supportive in helping with the process of establishing an IDB”.

Who said “doing nothing is not an option”? Rosie Cooper MP when she encouraged WLBC to find a workable solution. Has it ever been found? What will the Labour WLBC do? labonalt 

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