Horncastle Town Council promises to be a "strong voice for the community'

Councillors have promised to be a ‘strong voice for the community' of Horncastle and hold the Environment Agency to account following the release of its report into the town’s devastating flooding.
A flooding aerial photo of the flooding in Horncastle. Photo: Kurbia AerialA flooding aerial photo of the flooding in Horncastle. Photo: Kurbia Aerial
A flooding aerial photo of the flooding in Horncastle. Photo: Kurbia Aerial

​The comments come after ​Victoria Atkins, Louth & Horncastle MP, hosted a Flood Forum on Friday March 1, bringing together agencies and bodies to answer questions from residents following the devastating flooding in Horncastle and surrounding villages caused by torrential rain in October 2023.

The Environment Agency had previously released its report into the flooding – which states that the flooding was caused by “extreme” rainfall, not the delay closing the Flood Alleviation System’s (FAS) sluice gate due to a fault with the sensor system.

At Horncastle Town Council’s full meeting on Tuesday (March 12), chairman Matt Wilkinson, who had stated that the EA’s flood report “raised more questions than it has answered”, assured the several residents who were in attendance that the council intends to be a “strong voice for the community”.

He also assured the residents that the council fully intended to find out from the EA what went wrong with the FAS and why, and how steps can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

He said: “It’s the EA’s job to make sure this [the flooding] doesn’t happen again and we want to hold them to account.”

During the meeting, the members of the council agreed to call a public meeting to discuss the next steps as it was felt there were no outcomes to discuss what comes next following the EA’s report., with the provisional date agreed as Thursday April 25.

Coun Fiona Martin suggested that MP Victoria Atkins be invited to the meeting: “If there’s anyone who has the resources to help people, it’s her and we should write to her to ask her to talk about Horncastle and what she proposes to do about it.”

It was agreed that the councillors would also invite Witham Third Drainage Board and Lincolnshire County Council’s Colin Davie and Tom Ashton, who is heading up the county council’s scrutiny committee which is looking into the Environment Agency’s report.

The council agreed that a venue would be decided, a booking system would be set up to allow for fair attendance, and ways for attendees to submit their questions for the panel in advance would be decided before the next council meeting, set to take place on April 9.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We are keen to continue to work with Horncastle Town Council and residents in Horncastle to understand what options we can look at in the future to reduce the risk of flooding.

"For example, over the weekend we brought the Flood Mobile to the town to help answer residents’ questions. As such we are looking to attend a future public meeting being held by the council in due course.”