Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle MP visited the Environment Agency in Netherley, South Liverpool to see first-hand the work they are doing to protect the local environment by reducing the risk of flooding and monitoring air pollution.  Maria joined the confined spaces team and went into a culvert to see how regular checks and maintenance help to keep water flowing and prevent flooding.  The culvert, which is two miles long, is one of the longest in the North West and one of twenty nine culverts in the Garston and Halewood constituency.


Maria Eagle MP said:  “The Environment Agency are doing great work in my constituency managing the risk of flooding by ensuring that culverts are kept clear allowing water to flow through.  There are some 24,000 culverts in the North West that the team are responsible for and keeping them clear is vital to flood prevention.  I was interested to experience first-hand the challenges faced by the confined spaces team who manage the upkeep of the culverts.


The Environment Agency also do vital work to protect the local environment by detecting air pollution.  I was able to spend time with the team in a specially equipped detection van which helps to identify air pollution and enables them to respond quickly in emergency situations.  Air quality is vital to keep people healthy and sustain the natural local environment.


Unfortunately, under this Tory-LibDem government, the environment has not been a priority and flood prevention has gone backwards.  This week marks a year since David Cameron told flood stricken communities and businesses that ‘money is no object’ but the truth is that support has failed to reach many thousands still recovering from the damage caused by the winter floods.  On top of this, he has abandoned the last Labour government’s robust plans for reducing flood risk.


The next Labour Government will make flood protection a top priority, introducing a new climate change adaptation programme and establishing an independent National Infrastructure Commission as part of our plan to protect homes and businesses from extreme weather caused by climate change.”


John Leyland, Environment Agency Area Manager, said: “It was great to have Maria Eagle, our MP for Garston and Halewood out with us in Merseyside today, showing her support in the important work that we do to reduce flooding and spotting pollution.”