Sir James Bevan, the Environment Agency’s chief executive, visited the Lincolnshire coast last week (Friday, 5 February) to see the work being done to reduce flood risk along the east coast and across the county.
East coast inundation is one of the top risks facing the county, and Sir James took the opportunity to learn more about the Agency’s flood management strategy and defences while he visited Ingoldmells, near Skegness.
Flood resilience staff were on hand to answer his questions and elaborate on one of the county’s important coastal defences – a beach renourishment scheme known as Lincshore, which replaces sand lost to the sea through erosion and helps reduce risk to thousands of homes and businesses.
During his visit, Sir James also met with the MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman, Chair of the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) Eddy Poll, Cllr Colin Davie from Lincolnshire County Council and Peter Bateson from the Witham Fourth Internal Drainage Board.
Following the visit, Sir James said:
One of the Environment Agency’s key roles is to reduce the risk of flooding to people and property, and my visit to the Lincolnshire coast today provided me the chance to see firsthand just how committed our local staff are to achieving that.
Over the next six years, Government is investing £144m to reduce flood risk to more than 42,000 households around the coastline, tidal estuaries and rivers in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and we’re working closely with local authorities and other partner agencies to ensure that, as well as protecting homes and businesses, we’re achieving benefits for the environment, infrastructure, agriculture and the economy.
I’ve set myself the goal of visiting all 16 of the Environment Agency’s areas during my first 100 days in office, and learning about the unique challenges facing each one – and how our strategies are meeting them – has highlighted to me many examples of sterling work on the part of our local teams.
Matt Warman MP said:
I was delighted that following his appointment in November 2015 Sir James Bevan prioritised visiting the Lincolnshire coast as a key area of focus for the Environment Agency.
As a coastal community we are acutely aware of the threats posed from both river and sea flooding, and I have hosted meetings with the EA on a local level to discuss issues of concern on behalf of local communities, as well as discussing with Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the importance of our flood defences.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to further strengthen the partnership working between the EA and our community by visiting Ingoldmells with the EA Chief Executive, one of the Lincolnshire coastal areas that has benefitted from the EA flagship Lincshore scheme to reduce flood risk.
Additionally, Sir James spent time in Lincoln getting to know the Environment Agency’s area management team for Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire and meeting local staff, answering questions, and learning more about their day-to-day work.
Phil Younge, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire Area Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed hosting Sir James, who took a keen interest in speaking to our staff, not only to learn more about their work on local projects and key issues, but also to take onboard their feedback, ideas and opinions.
We look forward to continue to work with him as Chief Executive to protect and enhance people’s lives in Lincolnshire, our county’s natural habitats, and the wider environment.