Flood protection sealed with MP approval


David Miliband MP is taking time out of his demanding schedule to see progress of work to protect homes from flooding in his constituency.

The £3 million scheme in South Shields, which Northumbrian Water began in January this year, is due to be complete by the end of the year.

Eight properties in Newland Court and Birdhill Place will benefit from the work which has involved installing a very large storm water storage tank and upgrading 240 metres of sewer pipe.

Mr Miliband will have the rare opportunity to stand in the tank, which is 25 metres in diameter, ten metres deep and has the capacity to store up to four and a half million litres of wastewater in times of heavy rainfall.

Residents who have suffered flooding will also visit the site and have the chance to meet their local MP (and Foreign Secretary) and councillors to discuss the scheme with experts from Northumbrian Water and the water company’s contractors, Seymour (Civil Engineering Contractors) Limited.

Mr Richard Rattenbury, who lives at number 14 Newland Court with his wife, said:  “We suffered internal flooding six times between 2002 and 2008 – it was awful.  This work, which will help prevent our home and our neighbours’ homes from flooding, is phenomenal and we are over the moon! 

“It is nice not to have to worry when it rains, but instead to have peace of mind.  It is great that David Miliband has taken time out to see progress of a cause he has championed for us.  The attitude and work ethic of Northumbrian Water and their contractors, Seymour Civil Engineering, have been brilliant.  I speak on behalf of all my neighbours too.”

David Miliband MP said: “Having your home flooded is very unpleasant and causes significant distress.  It has been very interesting to have access to a construction project of this nature and to be able to speak to experts about how the sewerage network operates.  I visited the site of the scheme before work began and it is great to see that the work has progressed well and reassuring to know that the affected homes in Newland Court and Birdhill Place now have the flood protection they should have.”

Danny Coyne, Northumbrian Water’s project manager, said:  “We appreciate the distress that flooding from our sewerage network causes our customers and tackling flooding across the region is one of our top priorities.  It is a challenge, though, with the impact of the changing climate and localised heavy rainfall.  The satisfaction of our customers in Newland Court and Birdhill Place reflects the effort we put into good customer service and making sure the disruption from a major construction project like this is minimal.  I feel proud that I have managed this scheme and that David Miliband has been interested in progress.”

For further information contact Cara Hall on 0191 301 6720.

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