New deal set to assist those whose homes flood

A NEW deal to help flood-hit homeowners in areas like Felpham and Middleton is close to being sealed.

The agreement between the government and the insurance industry to make affordable flood cover is available should be completed by July.

The news was welcomed by Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb when it was announced in the Commons last Thursday.

Mr Gibb has repeatedly pressed for the current deal, which expires at the end of June, to be renewed to enable those whose properties are most likely to flood to be able to insure them.

The secretary of state for the environment, flooding and rural affairs, Owen Paterson, told MPs the insurance industry would extend the present arrangement for a month while talks were completed.

Mr Gibb also urged him to ensure the surface water flooding, which was a huge problem around Bognor during last June’s flooding, was tackled.

“It is now becoming clear that silt build-up in the Pagham and Aldingbourne rifes exacerbated that flooding. Will (Mr Paterson) encourage the Environment Agency to give greater priority to routine clearing and dredging of the main river water courses that are so important in preventing and mitigating flood damage?” he asked.

Mr Paterson said the agency had a role in clearing major waterways.