Solutions to floods are hundreds of years old

Solutions to floods are hundreds of years old, says Timothy Collier

Solutions to floods are hundreds of years old, says Timothy Collier

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Surely, the Fenland rivers are an example of well controlled floods, for when do you see the Fens swamped like the Somerset levels have been?

The answer is that land reclamation such as low-lying fields has to have a failsafe or foolproof defence system; and such a system was developed from the 1600s through to the 1930s with drains, pumps and levees everywhere.

In the 1960s a new 20-mile drain from Thetford to Denver was built in a circuit layout, in which excess water is diverted at Denver, then released when floods or tides subside.

The Nene and Great Ouse flood liberally, but the New Bedford level copes with it splendidly.

Rivers like the Severn, Thames and Wye simply need the same treatement or levees or walls along every mile, if necessary.

Water storage is also a need, so reservoirs upstream of towns and earth dams are common sense, located where fields without housing nearby can be allowed to flood.

Excess water could be pumped to reservoirs and alleviate future droughts, which we can bet will follow such a rainy season.

Some have condemned HS2 spending and called for a diversion to flood defences, but we need new project investments.

The wiser course is to invite two or three big plcs to collaborate with commercial banks and a 99-year franchise offered in return for all the capital.

Add HS3, HS4 and HS5 to the contract as well for the number of jobs and new business generated.

Also, tram lines could link up with these new routes.

Where has the vision among the Conservative and Labour politicians been between 1950 and today?

Roll on and up for UKIP please.

TIMOTHY COLLIER

By email

Reverse cuts to defence work

The Green Party has unveiled a 10-point action plan to tackle the problem of flooding.

This plan identifies both actions that need to be taken now as well as a long-term plan that will reduce the risk of damage
to life and property in the future.

With the Met Office now saying that all the evidence points to the reality of global climate change and that human activity is largely responsible, the Greens are calling on the Government to appoint ministers who understands the scientific evidence.

Large areas of our region are vulnerable to flooding.

I am concerned that cuts to the Environment Agency budget mean that the work needed to control flooding and coastal erosion will be inadequate. These cuts and staff reductions must be reversed.

Rather than hand billions of pounds to the oil and gas industry by way of subsidies and tax breaks, the Government must mow switch this money to flood protection and the work needed to reduce the effects of climate change.

KAT BOETTGE

Green Party lead candidate for European elections in the East Midlands

Concern over resource park

With the possibility of a decision soon on the removal of trees at Brookfield plantation between Corby and Gretton to create a so-called resource recovery park, it is worth noting that tree planting is being advocated to help reduce the effects of flooding of which we can expect more over the next few years.

The contours of the land suggest that about two-thirds of the water would feed the Nene, which is already flooding around Oundle, Polebrook and Warmington according to the flood warning maps.

The other third seems to feed the Welland which in other years has affected areas as close to Corby as Harringworth.

It would be crass stupidity to replace woodland, which slows the run-off of rain, with large buildings and big areas of Tarmac which speeds it up!

CLLR PHIL BROMHALL

Corby Council member for Weldon and Gretton

New lights are just too dazzling

The new lights in the streets may save electricity, but they are not as safe as they dazzle the motorists. Perhaps this should have been studied before they were installed.

JACK RICKARD

By email

Disgrace of the messy town

Regarding your report on a messy business getting £75 fine. Can we borrow the warden as we badly need one in Kettering? Nobody seems to take any pride in the place any more. It is an absolute disgrace.

J TAYLOR

Kettering

When will we get any investment?

I can fully understand the minister has needed to postpone the decision on Rushden Lakes due to the more urgent business of dealing with flooded homes.

What I cannot accept is that this decision has taken so long.

It is clear that the main objectors are about 20 miles away.

I guess Northampton is objecting despite building out of town shopping at Riverside, because the Grosvenor Centre developers are holding their arm up their back, threatening to withhold investment because leaseholders are fleeing the centre, including House of Fraser.

Corby are objecting because they expect to grab most investment in North and East Northants, including a vastly expensive railway station that’s not on the main line and has caused reductions in services to the people north of Kettering, particularly Market Harborough.

When do the people of Wellingborough and Rushden get some investment? They don’t want to travel 20 miles to shop in a modern development, and most road users don’t want the added traffic, even those from Northampton and Corby.

MARK CARRINGTON

Wollaston

A Victor Meldrew moment on plan

I don’t believe it. Was Peter Bone having a Victor Meldrew moment when he stated that it was inevitable that the decision for go-ahead should be delayed because of the present national emergency?

The announcement should have been this week, the emergency situation only arose this week.

The discussions about the decision have been ongoing for weeks previously, meaning the decision should already have been made.

Stop making feeble excuses Mr Bone, and do whatever is necessary to make this inept Government make a decision.

It has dragged on for too long already.

MARTIN PERCY

Wellingborough

Surprised that tills did not open

Having recently read about the extended opening hours granted to Asda in Rushden, imagine my horror when I visited recently during the old hours and was refused service at a staffed checkout.

I was told head office refuses to allow tills to be opened before 9am from Monday to Thursday – and I would have to use a self checkout.

I had a full trolley with £105 of shopping which I advised I would leave behind.

By some miracle a checkout was opened for me but other shoppers with smaller baskets were refused this service.

All customers were grumbling and complaining and stating how many times the self-use tills malfunctioned and how much longer the process took.

I tried to complain in-store to be told there is no manager, she has gone to Luton.

I have spoken to head office who confirmed the policy and do not seem concerned about the customer experience.

I just wanted to warn anybody in a hurry to shop elsewhere, as I now do.

B PHILLIPS

Rushden

Visit to Somme battlefield site

Relatives of Northamptonshire soldiers who died in the First World War are being offered a unique opportunity to visit the graves of their ancestors.

Thousands of Northamptonshire men were killed or wounded during the battle of the Somme. On the first day of the battle more than 20,000 British soldiers lost their lives.

Ypres was the scene of three great battles. The third, better known as Passchendaele, has come to symbolise the suffering and waste of trench warfare.

The Northamptonshire Regiment was involved right from the outset of the war. The county’s soldiers fought from the opening battles of Mons and the Marne right through to the Armistice in 1918.

The men of the First Battalion fought at Ypres in 1914 and later at Aubers Ridge. The trip will also take in the Belgian town of Mons, scene of the first clash between British and German soldiers in 1914. Battlefield Memorial Tours will also take relatives to the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried.

The trip will run from July 5 to 9. For more information, visit www.battlefieldmemorialtours.co.uk or contact Brian Long on 01629 650780.

JOHN PHILLPOTT

Battlefield Memorial Tours