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Debate rages over East Anglian flood defence

ARGUMENT RAGED in East Anglia last week when 200 civil engineers, county councillors, environmental lobbyists and government officials flocked to Marks Tey for the annual East Anglia association debate.

Four expert speakers launched their views on the motion 'Flooding in East Anglia is inevitable'.

So persuasive were they all that the audience's vote was divided equally for and against the motion.

Proposing the motion were Environment Agency area manager Hilary Aldridge and local government national spokesman on flood and coastal defence Terry Oakes.

Oakes argued that there were forces beyond the control of civil engineers. 'We must work with nature to find sustainable, environmentally acceptable solutions to deal with flood risk, ' he said.

Speaking against the motion, Jackson Civil Engineering director Clive Musson was emphatic that civil engineers can design the relevant works to deal with the causes of flooding.

He was joined by association chairman Haydn Evans who said: 'Civil engineering consultants from the UK have been at the forefront of flood relief throughout the world.

'King Canute may have had a greater talent for publicity than most, but we have been managing water through successful civil engineering projects for centuries - and will continue to do so.'

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