DEALING with flooding issues by continuing “business as usual” was not acceptable to a committee tasked with examining the extreme flooding in Milford Haven nearly two years ago.
A Pembrokeshire County Council commissioned report into flooding at Haven’s Head and Lower Priory was discussed at a special meeting of the services overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday, July 21.
The report, by Capita, highlighted two shortlisted options – installing two new culverts and ‘business as usual’ with flood management and protection for homes.
Although new culverts was found to be the most effective solution it was not considered cost effective, according to the report to committee.
On Tuesday residents put a number of questions to representatives of the Port Authority, council and Capita, with technical matters discussed in detail particularly in relation to the culvert capacity the lack of sulking when overflow lakes were full, and water levels.
Ian Bannister said on that a failure to sluice or empty the overflow lakes by the Port of Milford Haven was an issue that had been raised previously.
Local member Cllr Viv Stoddart called on the committee to recommend to cabinet that further research be carried out, especially when it came to possible funding solutions to the most effective recommendation to replace the culverts.
“Flooding both the hamlets has been going on a long time, myself and the residents have always argued that the culverts are inadequate,” said Cllr Stoddart.
The capita report outlines that this would be the most effective solution to reduce flooding risks but would cost upwards of £3.5million, with the committee being asked to approve a recommendation of “business as usual.”
Cllr Stoddart also highlighted the historic backfilling of Goose Pill, and the impact on its capacity, which was echoed by Cllr Mike Stoddart.
He also called for further investigation into options such as straightening out areas of the culverts causing a slowing of water flow.
Cllr Jonathan Preston said: “It seems it was the business as usual before this happened is what let it down,” adding his support to chairman Cllr Rob Summons amendment that cabinet be asked to explore the solutions further.
The committee approved a recommendation to cabinet that they “fully explore the recommendations given by Capita” as well as funding options available to alleviate the flooding problems before making a decision.