Today (Wednesday 19 January) the Building Safety Bill returned to Parliament and I tabled a really important amendment which tackles the Government’s current ‘laissez-faire’ approach to flood protections measures in new buildings by introducing minimum national flood protection standards.
This links to my wider work on flooding as last week (Tuesday 11 January) my Flooding bill was published in the House of Commons.
The Humber has the second largest area of floodplain in the UK, and Hull tops the list with the largest number of homes classified as at high risk of flooding, at nearly 20,000 properties. In 2007, Hull was hit by floods causing £40 million worth of damage and many still have vivid memories of the water devastating our city.
Within Hull West and Hessle only the wards of Hessle (35%) and Newington and Gipsyville (95%) have less than 98% of their population within flood risk category.
I firmly believe that we need houses fit for the future. Climate change means that flooding is now inevitable – it is no longer a case of if flooding will happen but when. Without positive action from the government tens of thousands of homes and businesses will be built without the protection they need. This is another housing scandal in the making.
There have been some improvements over the years such as the Flood Re scheme but this needs improvement. The Bill I proposed calls for 5 areas of change. Firstly, to set out binding planning requirements for properties, enforced by local authorities. Secondly, to create a scheme, binding on the insurance industry, to recognise when a home has obtained flood prevention measures; and thirdly, to extend the Flood Re scheme further.
I recently asked the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that business and community flood recovery support funding would be a priority. The Secretary of State agreed to meet with me and the relevant minister before the end of February to discuss the Bill and I hope they will reconsider supporting my urgently needed proposals.
Alongside my Flooding bill, I have also launched an online petition and Parliamentary petition which urge the Government to commit to statutory flood protections. You can sign this petition here: https://chng.it/gzmzBXGcpS