Norfolk County Council set to lead investigation into Wainfleet floods

Two and a half months rain fell in three days at wainfleet.
Two and a half months rain fell in three days at wainfleet.

An independent local authority looks set to lead an investigation into the Wainfleet floods.

Lincolnshire County Council is liaising with Norfolk County Council over carrying out an independent review into the response to the flooding in the town last month.

Almost 600 homes were evacuated when the River Steeping burst its banks on June 12.

Norfolk council would start the investigation next week and complete the inquiry by the end of November, under the plans.

Coun Colin Davie, executive member for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council, said a review by the council itself would have “thrown up some issues”.

“We have a very strong partnership here in Lincolnshire between ourselves, the Environment Agency, the drainage boards and district councils,” he said.

“We felt that it was right to have that relationship properly scrutinised independently.

“We didn’t want to do our own investigation with all the issues that throws up. People would think that it’s not independent and that we would hide things, so we’re not going to do that.

“Norfolk will conduct a proper investigation and they will produce a report that will come to our scrutiny process.”

Coun Davie added that the county council have also asked the government’s chief science officer to review the report.

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson confirmed the authority was in “early discussions” about conducting a review into the floods.

Last week, Boston and Skegness MP, Matt Warman, apologised to residents at a local meeting and said “Government exists to prevent the kind of flooding we saw”.

An equivalent of around two months’ worth of rainfall fell in two days in the town, leaving around 1,000 people out of their homes.

Some residents are not expected to return to their homes for months.

RAF helicopters costing nearly £1 million were drafted in to drop bags of ballast to fill a breach in the riverbank.

* For reaction to last week's public meeting see today's Skegness Standard. We also catch up with the Drivers, who were evacuated with their little dog.