Many Standard readers like myself are enjoying the regular sparring between Observer and our councillors.
In my opinion we are all winners. First, it demonstrates even in this age the local press still has a big impact on democracy. The pleasing part being these councillors have been given space by The Standard to respond to the criticism and in turn to their credit, the councillors have not shied away. Most have given a lengthy transparent response, all their own work and time without extra pay, I guess. Let’s give credit to councillors when it is due .
In this week’s (19/02/2014) Standard letters thanks are due to Diana Walker, secretary of Black Sluice Drainage Board, for giving us a brief insight on aspects of flood avoidance. Other readers who appear to have knowledge of the local tides and the Wash have taken time to write lengthy letters to enlighten us the problems involved. With the likes of the Environment Agency and Black Sluice it’s safe to assume the technicalities will be correctly sorted before commencement of the Wash barrier .
My greatest fear for this now escalating local issue is the one usually associated with most Boston related problems, ie lack of central government funding. Something the above named councillors have come only too familiar with over recent years.
Early signs on funding do not bode well, recently Mark Simmonds MP through a press release to The Standard proclaimed that the completion date of the barrier would be brought forward by 18 months (with a hint it was due to his lobbying), only for the Environment Agency to point out within hours that the MP’s statement was wrong. No contradiction from Mr Simmonds (or apology ) so presumably the EA is correct .
Although the local council is doing its best with its inadequate resources morale of the local flood victims is rock bottom and it appears to them they are on their own, isolated with no-one to take their cause to central government.
Having checked Hansard it appears that in the flooding debate in parliament on January 23 Mr Simmonds failed to participate. The following week another debate included flooding, did our MP participate in it?