Call for an end to deadlock over flood insurance in Lewes

Lewes flood 2000
Lewes flood 2000

Lewes Flood Action is calling for the Government to urgently come to an agreement with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) over flood insurance.

The community group wants to see the deadlock broken in negotiations with the ABI over extending the present arrangement for its members to continue to offer flood insurance at normal rates to properties in the Flood Zone.

There is evidence that some people in properties in Lewes that flooded in the disaster of 2000 are now experiencing difficulty in getting insurance, even though they are now protected by flood defences.

Lewes Flood Action also oppose the Government’s plans to cut funding for flood defences in the coming year.

Jeweller John Clark, Lewes Flood Action Secretary, whose two premises on either side of Cliffe Bridge are at the pinchpoint of the River Ouse, said: “We urge Lewes MP Norman Baker to persuade David Cameron to make good the commitment he made on television to come to a satisfactory and affordable agreement with the ABI to insure people in areas at risk of flooding.”

Michael Scruby, Chair of Lewes Flood Action, said: “We offer all our sympathy to those in other parts of the country who have been flooded in the recent storms.

“We were lucky that the really heavy rain missed the Ouse Valley this time.

“It is clear from what has happened in places like Worcester and York that flood defences really work. We are lucky that we now have flood protection on the east side of the river.

“We now need it as soon as possible on the west side too. Now is not the time for the Government to cut the budget for flood defences.

“In the meantime our local councils could also play a part by offering assistance and advice to those encountering insurance difficulties.”

Lewes Flood Action is a community group set up after the flood of 12 years agao devastated wide areas of the county town to campaign for flood defences and to lobby for action on flood issues.

Since 2000 it has lobbied repeatedly not only for better flood defences and risk management in Lewes but also for a robust national policy and effective insurance.

Investment in flood defences for property with a one in 100 year flood risk on average shows an eight fold return.