Environment boss vows to keep us safe

Peter Bateson (IDB), Deborah Campbell (EA), Phil Younge (EA area manager), Sir James Bevan, Matt Warman MP, Coun Colin Davie, Eddy Poll (RFCC) and Mark Robinson (EA) in Ingoldmells. ANL-160802-145433001
Peter Bateson (IDB), Deborah Campbell (EA), Phil Younge (EA area manager), Sir James Bevan, Matt Warman MP, Coun Colin Davie, Eddy Poll (RFCC) and Mark Robinson (EA) in Ingoldmells. ANL-160802-145433001

The new boss of the Environment Agency says he is impressed with the work being done to protect the coast around Skegness from flooding.

Sir James Bevan, EA’s new chief executive, only took up his post as chief executive in November and has already had to cope with major floods in northern England and southern Scotland.

He visited Ingoldmells on Monday as part of his first 100 days in office quest to learn more about the flood management challenges facing the agency along the coast.

Flood resilience staff were on hand to answer his questions and elaborate on one of the county’s important coastal defences – a beach renourishment scheme known as Lincshore, which replaces sand lost to the sea through erosion and helps reduce risk to thousands of homes and businesses.

Sir James also met with the MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman, chair of the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) Eddy Poll, Coun Colin Davie from Lincolnshire County Council and Peter Bateson from the Witham Fourth Internal Drainage Board.

Following the visit, Sir James said: “One of the Environment Agency’s key roles is to reduce the risk of flooding to people and property, and my visit to the Lincolnshire coast today provided me the chance to see firsthand just how committed our local staff are to achieving that.”

“Over the next six years, Government is investing £144m to reduce flood risk to more than 42,000 households around the coastline, tidal estuaries and rivers in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and we’re working closely with local authorities and other partner agencies to ensure that, as well as protecting homes and businesses, we’re achieving benefits for the environment, infrastructure, agriculture and the economy.

“I’ve set myself the goal of visiting all 16 of the Environment Agency’s areas during my first 100 days in office, and learning about the unique challenges facing each one – and how our strategies are meeting them – has highlighted to me many examples of sterling work on the part of our local teams.”

Matt Warman MP said: “I was delighted that following his appointment in November 2015 Sir James Bevan prioritised visiting the Lincolnshire coast as a key area of focus for the Environment Agency.

“As a coastal community we are acutely aware of the threats posed from both river and sea flooding, and I have hosted meetings with the EA on a local level to discuss issues of concern on behalf of local communities, as well as discussing with Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the importance of our flood defences.

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to further strengthen the partnership working between the EA and our community by visiting Ingoldmells with the EA Chief Executive, one of the Lincolnshire coastal areas that has benefitted from the EA flagship Lincshore scheme to reduce flood risk.”