Shropshire Star

MP gets Commons debate on Severn flooding in push to secure £500m package as rain batters Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski says he has secured a Parliamentary debate on the subject of persistent flooding on the River Severn.

A rainy Shrewsbury on Thursday. Photo: Phil Blagg Photography

Mr Kawczynski said the adjournment debate looking into flooding in the entire River Severn catchment area was part of a bid to win £500 million from the Government to bring in holistic flood measures to protect communities in Shropshire and further downstream.

Flood barriers have already been installed in Bewdley this week, in anticipation of heavy rain.

The debate will be held in Westminster next Wednesday, December 13.

Daniel Kawczynski

Mr Kawczynski also said he has assembled a "caucus" of nearly 40 MPs who have constituencies on the Severn.

He said: "I consider the now annual flooding of Shrewsbury as the single biggest barrier to our town’s economic development. I have seen at first hand the misery experienced by many constituents having their businesses and homes flooded. It is a very traumatic experience to find your home and personal possessions destroyed.

"With this in mind, I have tried to focus on finding a solution. If weather patterns continue in the way we have been experiencing, the situation will only continue to get worse.

"I invited the Secretary of State for Defra to a flooded Coleham in February 2019. After this visit we secured an initial seed funding of £50m to implement a certain number of flood protection schemes in the constituency and to come up with a plan of water management to holistically manage Britain’s longest river."

The River Severn at Shrewsbury on Thursday. Photo: Phil Blagg Photography

The MP said he formed a Parliamentary caucus of 39 Conservative MPs who have the Severn flowing through their constituencies.

"We act as a team and no other part of the UK has this collective approach. Now, after four years of painstaking work we are presenting our business case to the Chancellor asking for £500m for this project. Our plans can demonstrate an economic uplift for the West Midlands of over £100 billion should this investment go ahead and facilitate our ability to manage this river.

The River Severn at Shrewsbury on Thursday. Photo: Phil Blagg Photography

"We are leaving no stone unturned in our attempts to ensure that in next year’s Spring Budget the Chancellor announces this huge investment to protect not only Shrewsbury but other communities down stream."

Although no flood alerts are in place for the River Severn in Shropshire at the time of writing, heavy rain hammered Shrewsbury on Thursday, and flood barriers had been erected in Bewdley in anticipation of the river level rising.