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November 10 2014.

For those who missed the original CAN WE HOLD BACK THE TIDE meeting on October the 24th, there will be a re-run on November the 28th, again at the Clinton Centre, starting at 7.00pm, and again attended by Norman Baker.

Last winter a series of bad storms removed much of the shingle from the beach and removed a large part of Seaford’s sea defences. Flood warnings were issued to some residents. Fortunately, the series of storms did not continue and there was no serious flooding.

Newhaven was not so lucky as 50 houses and 10 business premises were flooded. More worryingly, the railway line was closed for nearly four days, with over £1millon damage to signalling equipment. .

Seaford was protected by the shingle beach which has to be maintained at an annual cost of £300,000 by the Environment Agency’s contractors moving large amounts of shingle.

Last winter, many other parts of the country suffered serious flooding and there were widespread demands for more money to be spent on flood defences. We can expect much pressure to reduce the money spent on Seaford’s flood defences in future.

Sea levels are presently rising and climate change will accelerate this. The frequency and severity of storms that hit our coasts will greatly increase flood risk. .

Seaford, Newhaven, the Ouse Valley and Lewes have been fortunate in being part of a project co-funded by the European Union (known as Coastal Communities Project 2150). The project looked at the impact of rising sea levels and the increased risk of more frequent storm surges. Options were developed by the project team to illustrate different ways of adapting to the increased risks of flooding. The traditional approaches of building higher sea walls and river banks will not always be sustainable in the future.

Arrangements have been made for four key speakers to give presentations and answer questions at a meeting organised by Seaford Community Partnership on the 24th of October. They will cover:

- A national perspective (Norman Baker MP)

- John Gower, (Environment Agency’s Coastal Communities 2150 Project Team leader) will demonstrate, using computer modelling, the possible impact of rises in sea level and options for adapting to such rises.

- Kim Smith, (Team Leader Partnership and Strategic Overview for Flood Risk Management). will describe last years flooding and outline the Environment Agency’s strategies to address such problems in future in Seaford and Newhaven.

- Planning for flooding events (Ian Hodgson, Resilience and Emergency Partnership)

This is an important subject for the future of Seaford and Newhaven and all are encouraged to attend.

Admission is free.