Lyth Valley council tax could rise to pay for drainage

Council tax for thousands of people in Cumbria could be increased to prevent low-lying land from flooding.

It follows a decision by the Environment Agency to stop paying for land drainage in the Lyth Valley and around the Wampool on the Solway.

Consultations are under way about setting up local drainage boards to handle the maintenance when the agency pulls out in two years' time.

It has been suggested the cost be added to the council tax of 12,000 homes.

Objectors say that fewer than 300 homes would actually experience any benefit from the additional charge, which would average £8 a household.

Jim Bland, who would chair the drainage board in the Lyth Valley, said: "We would cover low-lying areas from the Duddon to Milnthorpe.

"We'd like everyone, not just the farmers affected, to contribute."

Both areas have drainage systems to reduce the amount of time the land is waterlogged in winter and lessen the risk of roads and homes being flooded.

The aim of the consultations is to help community groups decide if internal drainage boards in these areas are feasible.

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