Musselburgh flood scheme set for Council debate

The latest flood defences report by East Lothian Council officials and contractors is set to be discussed by Councillors on 23 August.

Councillors, including the Greens' Shona McIntosh, received the report and recommendations last Tuesday morning and have been meeting with officers to discuss and seek clarifications to prepare themselves for the debate.

While there are many aspects to the report, including a summary of the consultation so far and the new suggestion of incorporating the sea wall in front of the ash lagoons into the scheme, it does not contain any recommendation to approve a scheme or any authorise further funding for the scheme.

Instead, Councillors will be asked to note work done already and authorise further activity which will bring back more detailed costings to a future Council meeting.

Formal approval of the flood defence scheme itself is likely to be more than a year away – and this will be clearer once a timeline has been produced (which is one of the things Councillors will be asked to authorise the Project Team to work on).

Ahead of the debate, Cllr McIntosh commented:

I recognise the anxiety in Musselburgh about this latest report, but the next steps which Councillors are being asked to agree to, are all ones which are likely to provide more clarity, both to the public and elected members. 

This clarity will then give us a good base for continued discussion about the sort of scheme which is acceptable to the Toun. I will keep arguing for further, meaningful, consultation throughout the whole process, and for nature-based solutions to be maximised through the design.

Part of the report also includes some discussion about the controversial proposed sea wall. 

Cllr McIntosh added:

Residents should be assured that there will be a lot of scrutiny of this aspect of the scheme and I will work with Councillors from other parties to seek assurances that contractors will not have a ‘blank cheque’ in anyway.

The full report can be downloaded from the East Lothian Council website (link opens a file to download).