TTL's view on building resilence to floods
For immediate release
The flood water may be receding in many parts of the country, but Transition Town Letchworth (TTL) who advocate creating sustainable communities, are still warning that work to build resilience against extreme weather is urgent.
“Comet country hasn’t had it as bad as some parts of the UK, but the disruption and damage caused by the flooding and the associated sink holes shouldn’t be under-estimated” according to Joanna Jefferson from TTL.
“Climate change means the UK faces an increasing risk of extreme weather events. We’ve heard a lot of talk about dredging and flood defences, but the solution to reducing the damage caused by future events like this needs to be much more holistic.”
“Multiple agencies will need to collaborate to address the real issue; national Government, County and District Councils, Highways, Water Authorities, emergency services, owners of agricultural land and householders. Organisations and individuals all have a role to play in supporting the necessary changes.”
“Incentives should be there to support landowners in improving their flood prevention measures. Soils with a high proportion of organic matter hold water much better, reducing the strain on rivers and drainage systems. Trees and hedges are needed to absorb water and slow down the flow.“
“We also need to look at how and where we build and ensure regulation prioritises flood resilience for new development.”
“At a national level, the Town & Country Planning Association, the modern day guardians of the Garden City movement, recommend establishing a Cabinet level committee on infrastructure and climate change resilience to bring together all relevant departments. TTL heartily supports this.”
“The problem of climate change is global and there's no better plan to deal with this than reducing our carbon footprint. We need a big push of investment in renewables to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It is common sense to invest in renewable energy sources when supplies of fossil fuels are depleting and set to become ever more expensive.”
“The fossil fuel industry and our Government are intimate bedfellows at a time when we should be going all out to install clean micro-generation and encourage community energy schemes. Instead we have a Government-led dash for shale gas and a wealth of fossil fuel subsidies which could be better spent building sustainable energy infrastructure for the future.”
“This should not be a party political matter. Any MP who denies the scientific consensus on climate change is going to have difficulty putting the needs of the nation or their constituency first when it comes to building resilient communities. Constituents have a duty to press their MP on this subject and vote accordingly.”