Concern as flood risk figures revealed

Figures released this month indicate that over 13,000 homes and 1,300 businesses across the Lothians are at risk of flooding.

The figures, contained in a consultation on flood management produced by SEPA, estimated the potential damage to these properties would be over £115 million.

The document highlights the potential risk to properties along a number of waterways and coast line locations across the region including the Avon, the Esk and the Almond Rivers. 

The area where most homes stand to be affected is along the Water of Leith, including its tributaries. From Currie to Leith, over 6,200 homes and over 500 businesses could potentially be flooded with damages estimated at almost £48 million.

I highlighted these figures during a debate on Environment and Rural affairs to register my concerns about the impact of the Scottish Government’s change to the funding arrangements for flooding during the last term of Parliament.

Since the terrible flooding in 2000 the estimated cost of the flood prevention scheme has escalated from £12 million to £80 million.

Under the previous system the Scottish Government would pay for 80% of the cost of flood protection projects with the Council funding the remaining 20%. However, now the Council are being asked to pick up the entire cost. 

This has inevitably led to delays and increased costs as the Council was forced to proceed on a phased basis which required a costly retendering of the work.

In the new session of Parliament I will be continuing to press the Scottish Government to find a solution which ensures that work proceeds quickly to give people peace of mind that their homes are protected.