'Gaps in system' - fears flooding which hit Norfolk will happen every year

Heavy rain caused flooding in Long Stratton.

Heavy rain caused flooding in Long Stratton. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

The severe flooding which hit parts of Norfolk over Christmas is likely to happen every year, councillors have warned, as they called for a countywide drive to prevent the problem.

Norfolk County Council is to create a task force to push for comprehensive,. costed and funded plans from the Environment Agency on how to protect the county.

And they want to organise a series of meetings with organisations such as the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and district councils, with a "leading figure" chairing renewed efforts to work together to prevent flooding.

Parts of Norfolk saw flooding over the Christmas week, with Norfolk Fire and Rescue declaring a major incident.

Ben Cheyne captured these images and video footage on his drone on Christmas Day after the major floods in Bungay and Ditchingham

Ben Cheyne captured these images and video footage on his drone on Christmas Day after the major floods in Bungay and Ditchingham. Picture: Ben Cheyne - Credit: Ben Cheyne

Members of the county council's Conservative-controlled cabinet also agreed to make £650,000 available for repairs to the drainage network and to hire new council flood officers.

Andy Grant, cabinet member for environment, warned such flooding was likely to become yearly, yet there were "gaps in the system" so organisations meant to be protecting Norfolk were not working together well enough.

Norfolk county councillor Andrew Grant. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

Mr Grant said: "A warmer climate would mean more flooding across Norfolk, rising sea levels, unpredictable weather patterns and heavier rainfall and that is a dead cert for the future.

"The old chestnut of a one in 100 year event is no longer an available excuse.

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"Such events are becoming yearly and national policy needs to change to reflect this.

"We will press for investment from the government and reduce the worst impact on people's lives.

"In addition to lobbying government, it's important that we look at how we can improve things."

Mr Grant said there was a need for organisations such as the Environment Agency, Anglian Water to work better together.

He said: "For too long there have been gaps in the system."

Tom McCabe, head of paid service at Norfolk County Council. Photo: Supplied

Tom McCabe, head of paid service at Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Supplied

Tom McCabe, head of paid service and director of community and environmental services at the council, said: "There are many organisations involved in flood prevention and prevention has to be our ultimate aim, rather than simply dealing with it.

"So, it's imperative that all these organisations act as one to deliver the best possible opportunities for the communities of Norfolk."

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