A CARLISLE councillor has called for a plan to be put in place to dredge the city's rivers, to help reduce a risk of future flooding.

Botcherby and Harraby North independent city councillor Jack Paton will call for a plan for the dredging of Carlisle's rivers to be put in place at the local authority's upcoming meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Paton said that a "phenomenal amount of money" has been spent on flood defences in Carlisle since Storm Desmond in 2015.

He said that this investment in flood defences, form the city council, county council and Environment Agency has been "greatly appreciated by all".

"However no thought about dredging the rivers has been put in place," he said.

"This would be greatly beneficial to all those residents who have gone through the misery and upheaval of the previous floods".

Mr Paton added that the impact of climate change is a "great factor" in considerations that should be made on actions taken to alleviate flood risk.

He hopes to see the city council work with the Environment Agency to put a river dredging and bank clearance plan of work in place across the riverbanks that run through its leisure areas, parks and golf course, which he said would give "peace of mind to all our residents".

The chairman of the Carlisle Flood Action Group, John Kelsall, said that river dredging was action the group has been keen to see carried out for "many years".

However Mr Kelsall said that it would not be enough to dredge rivers once - he said in order to effectively reduce flood risk through dredging, it must be done annually.

He said there is a particular concern over gravel and silt in relation to the River Caldew.

"A recent study by Salford University into the River Caldew concluded that the erosion is greater than the amount that is expelled to the Solway and the Eden," Mr Kelsall said.

"This means that every year there is an accumulation of gravels and silt in the river."

He explained that the steady layering of gravel and silt lifts the river bed higher, leaving it more flood-prone.

Allowing a river to "wild" - to leave alone and let it take its course - is not something Mr Kelsall believes should be done, as most rivers come into contact with the built environment.

"When a water course comes down a fell, as soon as it meets a bridge, it becomes an engineered entity," he said.

"Human beings have a responsibility by putting a bridge over a river or stream, to maintain and monitor that course.

"We say quite emphatically that maintenance needs to be done in the way that it used to be done."