Village flood funding

A NORTH Northumberland village will benefit from a £2.4million package of schemes to help to protect against the risk of flooding.

Belford will receive some of the money raised from local authorities in the North East by the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee, which agreed to a four per cent increase for 2011/12 at its meeting in January.

In previous years levy money has paid for the creation of a series of leaky ponds to hold back flood water. The next stage is to carry out work to the channel so that flood water can be conveyed quickly through the town.

Committee chairman Frank Major said the levy supported ways of funding innovative and creative approaches to tackling local problems.

“The levy fund will finance more than 30 schemes in the next financial year which will concentrate on small-scale engineering work, and involve local people at the core of its solutions. It is more important than ever that we are able to protect communities from flooding.

“Our local levy programme is driven by locally-identified need, and has proved to be a rapid and cost-effective process that is influenced by local opinion and has communities at the heart of everything that it does.”

The funding comes at a time when towns like Morpeth have discovered that money for their flood defence schemes is not available.