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Matthew Hancock takes up flood role

King's Lynn's flood defences hold - but only just. The water nearly made the very top of the flood defences at St Margarets Lane on the South Quay

King's Lynn's flood defences hold - but only just. The water nearly made the very top of the flood defences at St Margarets Lane on the South Quay

 

Haverhill MP Matthew Hancock has been appointed Ministerial flood envoy for East Anglia and South Lincolnshire by Prime Minister David Cameron.

On Thursday (April 24) he visited Lowestoft and Norwich to meet small businesses to learn how they were impacted by the flooding earlier in the year and see the recovery process first hand.

The Ministerial flood representatives are tasked with:

· understanding the impact in affected areas, especially weaknesses exposed

· tracking progress towards recovery and reporting directly to the Prime Minister

· assessing the effectiveness of multi-agency joint working in affected areas (for both response and recovery)

· identifying lessons learned; ensuring work is in train to improve resilience for winter 2014-15

Small businesses in Lowestoft have been benefiting from the government’s £10 million Business Support Scheme, as part of a wider £540 million package for flood recovery.

The tidal surge in December 2013 was the largest surge in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex since 1953, and resulted in approximately 160 properties in Lowestoft and Oulton Broad being flooded.

The Skills and Enterprise Minister Mr Hancock said: “Last winter was the wettest ever and I want to place on record my thanks to the emergency services, local authorities, and Environment Agency for their hard work over the past months.

“Now that the clear-up is largely complete we need to take stock of what lessons we can learn for the future and how we can improve flood resilience and tackle coastal erosion in the region.”

Following his visit to see the impact on local businesses and damage to the sea front in Lowestoft, Mr Hancock attended a meeting with Risk Management Authorities in Norwich, including representatives from the Local Enterprise Partnerships, South Lincolnshire District Council, Norfolk County Council, Norfolk North District Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and MPs.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (May 1) Echo.

 

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