Council seeks to bridge flood funding gap

Posted on 08/09/2012 by

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The city council is to continue talks with the Government and local government umbrella body COSLA over a funding shortfall for the second and third phases of flood prevention works on the Water of Leith. The Council made an unsuccesful bid for goverment support last December but a decision is expected later this year on funding for flooding projects.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds (pictured above) said: “The total cost of building existing and future flood defences for Edinburgh  is at least £144m, which is well beyond our own means. While the completed scheme on Braidburn and the finished parts of the Water of Leith are providing protection, other parts of the city continue to be at risk. Recent events have shown again how important it is that we have these defences in place and I very much hope COSLA and the Scottish Government can be persuaded of the capital’s case.”

The current funding arrangements are detailed in a report to the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment committee next week. The report also describes the lessons learned from recent flooding, especially on 7 July 2012 at the Stockbridge Colonies and in Warriston. As a result, various improvements are to be made in how the Council works with other organisations to plan for and respond to major flooding incidents.

Councillor Hinds added: “Flooding can be a devastating experience for those who are affected. While our staff worked very hard to deal with the consequences of the exceptionally heavy rainfall there are always lessons to be learned for the Council, our contractors and our partners I’d also urge every household tosign-up for alerts from SEPA and follow their guidance on being prepared for flooding.”

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