MP accuses council of not fulfilling its duty over Rainham floods
- Credit: Griselda Konti
Jon Cruddas has accused Havering Council of not fulfilling its duty as lead local flood authority after its representatives failed to attend a meeting.
But its leader, Councillor Damian White, says this is due to his request for the meeting to be rescheduled not being accepted.
Mr Cruddas, the MP for Dagenham and Rainham, has put pressure on Cllr White following the council’s alleged inaction to the Rainham floods in August 2020.
He said: “They must produce a report with Thames Water, Environment Agency and Network Rail involvement and most importantly, set out a cross sector action plan to protect Rainham.
“That’s what I expect and will continue to press them to do their duty.”
In response to the floods Mr Cruddas said he brought together the relevant services to regularly meet in an effort to “protect the area” and as the “safety and protection” of his constituents and their homes is “paramount” to him.
A meeting arranged by Mr Cruddas on October 29 was to be attended by senior staff from the council, but he claims “the council leader pulled them out of the meeting”.
Mr Cruddas accused Mr White of being “too busy playing political games to care about residents in Rainham”.
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In response, Cllr White said: “I and my council are absolutely committed to finding solutions and preventing the flooding.”
Cllr White said as part of his commitment to finding solutions to the flooding he attends the “regular meetings” which include Mr Cruddas and the responsible bodies.
Mr White added that he did not ask officers not to attend the arranged meeting, but instead asked for the meeting to be rescheduled, which wasn’t accommodated by Mr Cruddas.
He explained: “Officers could not attend the meeting and asked for it to be moved.
"It was also requested that either the cabinet member for environment or myself attend when it was rescheduled as this is a priority for the council - this was refused.”
Mr Cruddas said as winter is approaching bringing potential periods of heavy rainfall, he will continue to call on the council to “cooperate”.