LETTER: MP has failed to help

WE are writing to express our severe disappointment at the failure of Nick Gibb MP to address major local issues which could have a significant detrimental effect on the residents of his constituency.

In particular, he has entirely failed to take to government level our major concern that the disastrous flooding that has regularly happened locally will be repeated again before too long with equally disastrous results.

Readers will recall that this flooding damaged hundreds of homes and roads, also cutting off communications and commerce, and must not be allowed to happen again.

We are aware that he has been involved in meetings with local agencies clearing ditches, drains and suchlike, but this is merely scratching the surface of the problem. Not many people know that 44 litres of water per second are hurled in our direction by the Tangmere pumping station via the Aldingbourne Rife, and this is set to vastly increase by an unknown amount when we also take the run-off from new Tangmere and Chichester developments.

This is in addition to enormous amounts of water already being brought to us by that rife, which is also set to vastly increase by an unknown amount if the Church Commissioners and Arun District Council get their way and build thousands of houses in Eastergate/Westergate.

Last year it was only luck plus the deliberate flooding of the Lidsey/Shripney area, cutting and damaging the A29, that prevented a repeat of the disastrous June, 2012, flooding further downstream.

Clearly it is sensible that our existing flooding dangers must be solved before they are added to by all this building, but the problem is that local authorities have no power to hold up such building to allow this.

That power only rests at government level. So we asked Mr Gibb to take this up and he has so far failed to do so.

His response to us was to demand that we prove that the housebuilding could cause increased flooding dangers.

We believe this is irresponsible, our view being that this matter is so important that his attitude should be quite the reverse.

In the interests of his constituents he should be demanding that the landowners and housebuilders prove their activities will not cause increased flood risks, before they are allowed to proceed.

Our message to Mr Gibb is that if he considers himself a responsible MP, he should take real action now on this matter, and that means taking it to government level.

If he’s not prepared to do that in order to protect his constituents, he should get out and make way for an

MP who will do the job properly.

Hugh Coster,

Deputy chairman

Bognor Regis Civic Society