Michael Fabricant visited the area HQ of the Environment Agency at Fradley Park near Lichfield on Friday 23rd October to learn more about what the Agency does for people locally and nationally.
Michael Fabricant says: “The Environment Agency really do far more than I first imagined. As well as working to protect us from flooding and river pollution, like the police they go out to emergencies, they make sure waste is disposed of safely, they prosecute people for environmental crime, and they are even working to reduce the environmental impact of HS2 in our area!”
The Fradley office is the HQ covering all Agency work in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands including every city, town and village from the edge of Dovedale to Shipston on Stour.
Across the Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands Area, the Environment Agency have a 6-year £50million spending plan to reduce flood risk. Experts at the Agency use information from the Met Office and data about river flows to predict if somewhere will flood, they then issue flood warnings to people so they can take action and stay safe.
The Environment Agency is asking everyone to become more flood aware.
Michael adds: “In the Lichfield constituency, there are over 600 people at risk of flooding, but only 156 people have signed up for a flood warning. There is little anyone can do against flooding when the water is coming through the door, but you can prepare in advance and take action when there is a flood warning.
“So I am urging everyone at risk of floods to sign up for Environment Agency flood warnings online at
https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings or call Floodline on 0345 988 11.”
As well as hearing about the 24/7 service the Environment Agency provides for emergencies like flooding and pollution incidents, Michael also visited the agency’s lab to see and hear what happens there.
Michael adds: “The Environment Agency checks rivers for invertebrate life because it’s a sign whether the river water quality is good or not. I had a chance to look at samples from the Croxden Brook which has lots of life, indicating that the water quality is good.
“I also saw the Environment Agency’s arc boat that is used to measure how fast a river is flowing and how deep it is. This information is used to measure water levels and the rainfall to provide flood warnings but also to ensure we have enough water for local people and wildlife.
“In all, it was a hugely impressive visit and I was pleased to meet some of the teams based at the Agency who work every day to help keep safe our water, homes and livelihoods.”
Lisa Pinney MBE, Area Manager of the Environment Agency, says: “The Environment Agency exists to provide a better place for people and wildlife. I welcomed the opportunity to talk about our work to Michael. As a professional incident responder we work alongside the blue light services and our resilience partners to keep people safe and reduce impacts on the environment. In the last few months alone, we’ve attended numerous incidents including tyre fires, road traffic accidents and farm pollutions.
“I’d encourage people to help report any pollution incidents to the Environment Agency on our 24/7 helpline 0800 807060.”
Photos show Michael with one of the Agency’s remote controlled boats which measure the depth and flow of rivers and looking at water samples from Croxden Brook.