Mark Spencer’s MP Column: Flooding remains high on my agenda

Flooding has once again been high on the agenda, luckily this time in Sherwood we have escaped the disasters elsewhere. But it is never far from my mind, and I have said for a long time we should take any opportunity to improve flood alleviation measures whenever possible.

It was with this in mind I put forward amendments to the Government’s Water Bill that was passing through the commons this week. This follows a lot of careful consideration following severe floods in Hucknall and surrounding villages.

It is vitally important that highways authorities make adequate provision for drainage when building new roads such as the planned inner relief road in Hucknall.

I said in the House of Commons on Monday, “What often happens is that the public sewer, which is already under pressure, becomes flooded.

“This problem is exacerbated when a new road is built, there is a very good example of that in Nottinghamshire, the Hucknall inner relief road. This has currently been passed by Nottinghamshire county council and is about to go right thorough the town of Hucknall. The plan includes dumping the surface water from that new road into an already flooding public sewer system.”

“This in my opinion is unacceptable, while we’ve got diggers on the ground to put a new road in, it’s not beyond the wit of man to put an enormous pipe underneath that road to take the surface water and not to put it into the public sewer. To do so would risk flooding existing houses that are already under pressure and suffering from sewage flowing through their homes.”

“What we can do is make sure that anything new that we build doesn’t make the problem worse. I think we have an obligation to try and improve things as we develop. What causes enormous frustration is that those bodies responsible, whether it’s the sewerage companies or the highways authority, passing the buck. So in effect the person that causes the problem does not take responsibility for solving that problem, but it falls upon somebody else.”

My amendment to the Water Bill is as follows:

Highways authorities must include in schemes for the construction of new roads, drainage systems with a specification designed to decrease the risk of flooding of public sewerage systems.

This is a technical thing but to put it in “farmer” language, while your digging up the road or building a new one you have to put better drainage in not just tap on to the old system.

It remains to be seen if the Government will take my suggestions on board as it now goes off to the House of Lords, but I will keep the pressure on those responsible for solving our flooding challenges and make sure where they can they make things better not worse.

If you would like to see my full speech please click the link on my website at

As always if you would like to contact me please drop me an email at