North MSP welcomes Major Inquiry into Flooding in Scotland

Highlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP Peter Peacock is saying a Parliamentary inquiry into flooding announced today must explore the real human cost of the problem.

At a meeting of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee at Holyrood this morning he argued that given the number of people affected the Parliament needs to have a major inquiry.

"We must expose to the public glare people’s experiences of flooding. This is a major issue which is affecting more and more people’s lives," said Mr Peacock.

"There is an anxiety, certainly amongst the people of the Highlands and Islands, that given the high rainfall we have already had we could experience serious flooding later in the year."

He pointed out at the meeting that the Highland communities, including East Sutherland, Easter Ross, Moray, the West Coast at Fort William and Caol, Thurso and Kirkwall, have a lot of experience of flooding and will be pushing for their views to be heard as part of the process.

The inquiry will collect evidence from experts, from the communities, from local authorities and would allow recommendations to be made to inform possible Scottish Executive legislation expected next year.

"We need to consider the whole range of issues including why we are experiencing such high rainfall, what is happening in the areas that experience flooding, what statutory procedures are in place, budgetary spending and whether alleviation schemes are effective," said Mr Peacock.

He commented that he is keen to hear the views of local people in the Highlands and Islands and would welcome e-mails or calls on their experiences.


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