Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Flooding and downpours - what next?

Did you get stuck in all that rain and flooding yesterday? Parts of Liverpool seemed to grind to a halt. We had road closures, school closures and the predictable closure of the rail service to Hunts Cross.

Obviously there's nothing organisations like Councils can do about the fact that it's raining. But they can make sure that whatever systems exist actually are capable of dealing with downpours... and after yesterday I am not sure that all of ours are.

I'm told the Environment agency is saying that we can expect more of this sort of weather linked to climate change. The Met Office certainly says that downpours like yesterdays are not uncommon.

So, apart from having a moan, what can we do?

I'm keen that Liverpool City Council does what it can to make sure that we (and by that I mean the City area not just the Council) has the best possible systems for dealing with weather like this.

So I've asked the Chair of the Regeneration and Transport Committee, which meets next week, if we can add this as a special item.

Here's the e mail I sent last night.


Dear Beatrice

Today (tues 2oth) Liverpool has seen severe transport and other problems caused by a failure of existing systems to deal with the heavy rain.

This has included road closures, school closures and other problems. .many commuters have found it difficult to travel and its clear that commercial activities have been hit.

While the City Council clearly isn't responsible for every single system, I believe it does have a duty to ensure that roads are passable and that citizens and businesses can get around.

I am therefore asking for a special item to be added to the agenda for the regeneration and transport select committee. I believe we need to seriously enquire if in Liverpool we are equipped to deal with heavy rain incidents like this and if we are not we have a duty to work with partners and others to improve the situation.

I believe the regeneration and transport select committee is exactly the right body to do this and hope you will agree to place this on the agenda, and ensure attendance by the relevant people, for the meeting on 29th July.

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