Twenty of us gathered to discuss the causes and solutions to this increasing problem.
Lack of dredging, tree and scrub clearance, the neglect of maintenance to waterways and the deliberate altering of river courses were all mentioned as contributory factors that lead to increased flooding.
Suggested solutions included increased government funding for regular dredging of rivers; landowners being encouraged to clear overgrown ditches; flood plains being kept to accommodate flood water instead of being built on; and more emphasis on tree planting to absorb surface water.
It was pointed out that funding for flood defences in Carlisle had been insufficient, so that some of the city still floods, whereas in Selby, successful management of flood water had prevented further flooding. The Netherlands have a national programme of flood management that we could learn a lot from.
Buildings at risk could be fitted with waterproof flooring and walls, and electrical sockets set at much higher levels.
The situation in Maghull and Lydiate is complicated because part of the area is on a flood plain, there are many streams diverted through culverts, and several stretches of the river Alt have been moved over recent years to facilitate buildings or new roads.
On an individual basis, we can each make a small difference by planting suitable trees or shrubs and using permeable materials for driveways or patios. All the small bits will add up.
Finally, it was pointed out that as we all use far more water than we used to, we need to manage our use of it with water butts and possibly green roofs so that, as well as floods, we are also prepared for droughts!
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 24th March at 1.30pm when we will discuss:
The EU – IN or OUT?