Sheffield Green Party has responded to Sheffield Council’s consultation on flood protection in the Sheaf and Upper Don river basins.
The Greens agree that the Council and other bodies need to take action, because recent and future global warming will mean more significant rainfall, which will increase the risk of flooding in Sheffield. But they argue that the Council’s plans need both expanding and further consideration.
Natalie Bennett, the Greens’ spokesperson in Sheffield Central, said
“The Council’s current consultation mainly focuses on action to protect the city once water levels have already risen. But we also need measures to try to prevent flooding in the first place, taking steps to stop Sheffield’s rivers becoming too full and acting more broadly in reducing our city’s contribution to climate change.
“The Council should provide more leadership on action to manage the catchment of our rivers better, including encouraging tree-planting and land-use that reduces water run-off, and increase the permeability of urban and rural landscapes.
“We also need better insulation of housing, which will tackle fuel poverty, and more use of renewable energy, which can bring income to households and communities.
“And the city should be making it much easier for people to reduce their use of cars, by improving arrangements for walking, cycling and public transport. Such steps will also mean improved health for many Sheffield residents, together with reduced traffic congestion and less air pollution.”
Local Green councillor Alison Teal added
“The Council’s flood protection options need more consideration, to make sure they’re right for the future. I’m concerned that any large-scale engineering solutions in some of Sheffield’s parks, woodlands and open spaces might be inappropriate, unnecessary and harmful to the local environment.”
Given the importance of this issue, we believe the Council should conduct a further public consultation in the future.