MSP eager for flood lessons to be learned

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AN area MSP says he hopes the community can become better prepared for future flooding issues.

MSP Roderick Campbell lodged a series of questions recently with the Scottish Government, covering a variety of issues from what provision of support is available to communities affected, to the future management of weirs and sluice gates.

This area was particularly affected by the October floods with roads closed for days on end and other damage caused.

Mr Campbell said: “After the very serious flooding in several areas of north east Fife, I am very pleased that the Scottish Government is taking this matter seriously.

“I fully appreciate the problems that many will have encountered as a result of floodwater – from damaged personal belongings to delayed transportation – and following one of the wettest summers in history I can only hope conditions do not worsen further.”

Following the excessive rainfall over the summer months, some weirs in north east Fife were found to be in need of repair, or ownership of them could not be ascertained.

In an answer from Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Mr Campbell was advised that weirs that are in use require a Controlled Activities Regulations Licence to be issued by SEPA.

However, there are an estimated 1800 unlicensed dams and weirs throughout Scotland, due to them not being ‘in use’.

Mr Campbell added: “The number of unlicensed dams and weirs is of some concern. However, I am grateful for Mr Wheelhouse advising me that the Government is looking to address this issue and is considering introducing new powers to support SEPA to help ensure improvement action is taken in the future.”

Visit the Scottish Flood Forum website or call 01738 448 411 for further details.