Disappointment over cuts to flood protection

Concerns have been raised after Aberdeenshire Council announced it was slashing vital funding to protect against flooding.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:51 am
The council budget will make cuts to its flood management funding despite a number of floods in recent years.

It comes after the 2021/22 budget was announced which revealed a planned £1million savings to the workforce.

The budget will also make cuts to its flood management funding despite a number of floods in recent years across the region which have caused thousands of pounds of damages to properties.

Kintore councillor, Glen Reid, hit out at the decision during last Wednesday’s council budget meeting, pleading with the administration not to add to the worries of families across the shire.

He said: “I am worried about the proposed cuts to the Flood Management budget. We all know that difficult decisions have to be made, but every single Flood Management budget saving has been taken.

“The budget has been cut by £282,000. That’s almost 50 per cent.

"We have taken none of these cuts. In communities throughout Aberdeenshire there are thousands of families who are anxious every time we have bad weather. Let’s not add to their worries.”

Inverurie and District Councillor Neil Baillie said: “Many people in the area I represent are rightly concerned about flooding and are still impacted by previous flooding issues.

“It is incredibly disappointing the administration appears to have selectively forgotten what happened during and after Storm Frank.

"We face the very real threat of more flooding and more damage to homes and we should be ensuring we can do everything to prevent it before it happens.”

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has also raised concerns over the impact on staff who have worked “tirelessly” throughout the pandemic.

She said: “Many of my constituents have faced the very real and devastating impact of flooding in recent years.

"We all know the impact of climate change is already having a catastrophic and detrimental impact. To reduce the budget which helps protect against the impact of flooding is short-sighted and will increase risk of damage to properties.”