Report into flooding has to reveal the full facts, says Bognor Regis MP

GIVE people the full facts about flooding around Bognor Regis, the town’s MP has demanded.

Nick Gibb said the impending report by West Sussex County Council into the devastating flooding of last summer was a major chance to start to put right the failings of the town’s drainage system.

The council is the lead authority for tackling flooding and co-ordinating the responses to it.

The report is due to be published in the next few weeks. Mr Gibb, the MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, said: “My main comment, ahead of the publication of the report, is that it will be very disappointing if the report is not a detailed analysis of the problems encountered in each of the distinct areas affected by the flooding.

“We need the report to go into detail of the state of the surface water drainage system in each area, the size of the pipes, the flows of surface water and the ease or difficulty with which the water escaped.

“Residents need to be re-assured that Southern Water and the Environment Agency will be investing significant capital to ensure people’s homes are not subject to similar floods in the future.

“Most of the area most severely damaged by flooding were areas that had experienced regular – but less severe – flooding in the past, reflecting weaknesses in the surface water drainage system. “It is these weaknesses that need to be remedied as a matter of urgency and which I hope the report will identify and recommend capital spending to improve.”

The worst of the summer’s flooding occurred after Monsoon Monday of June 11 when some 7ins of rain fell.

Areas of Middleton and Felpham were submerged. Homeowners had to be rescued. Other residents in North Bersted and Shripney also had their homes ruined by the excess water.

The effects are still being felt by those who were the worst affected.

Mr Gibb has held a series of meetings with many of the residents who suffered from the flooding.

He has also met officials from Southern Water – including its chief executive, Matthew Wright, Arun and West Sussex councils and the Environment Agency.

The meetings’ main purpose was to ensure those engaged in the review knew what happened on June 11 as well as the past history of flooding.