A WALNEY councillor has backed Environment Agency plans tackle coastal flooding.

South Walney Labour county councillor Frank Cassidy has emphasised the need for 'urgent action' to cut carbon emissions.

This comes after the Environment Agency has launched a major, long-term strategy to tackle flooding and coastal change, Environment Agency Chair, Emma Howard Boyd has said ‘we cannot win a war against water’ by building higher flood defences and called for a new approach to ensure communities are resilient to the threat of flooding posed by climate change.

Opening an 8-week consultation on the new strategy, Emma Howard Boyd said that the Environment Agency is preparing for a potential 4°C rise in global temperature and urgent action is needed to tackle more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise.

Cllr Cassidy explained how unusual weather events potentially linked to climate change have, in recent years, caused severe erosion on Walney’s western coastline and only last summer the county council invested tens of thousands of pounds to repair serious damage to clay cliffs near the South End Caravan Park.

He said: "Near this point the island has been breached when high tides washed across low-lying farmland that was already flooded and joined up with Walney Channel.

"There are hot-spots elsewhere, including Biggar Bank where coastal erosion is now just feet from the children’s playground and our residents’ group is working with the council to provide a fix.

“In the years to come there is a risk that our coastal defences could fail as sea levels rise.

"The Cumbria Coastal Strategy has been developed to secure national funds that can reinforce our coastal defences and protect homes and businesses.

Hazel Graham, chief executive of Cumbria Action for Sustainability, said:

"The UK must take urgent action to cut carbon emissions so that we can avoid worse impacts in the future."