Tessa met with Defra ministers in London this week to put forward the case for dredging of the rivers and the adjoining rhynes so the whole water catchment area is considered, rather than just the rivers Parrett and Tone.
After welcoming the flooding Minister to Somerset last year, it’s great that we have finally succeeded in getting the Government to agree that dredging is the way forward for Somerset.
“We need to look at the whole area. We have water that can’t get to the pumps and the Axe and Brue valleys have also been affected.
“It affects productive land, such as farmers and anyone who grows and sells their own produce, which is celebrated at great local events like Burnham’s food festival.
“I accept the Levels are a flood plain, but water needs to be taken off, not left there. It’s ludicrous and more needs to be done because just hoping it will get better won’t work.
“We need to make sure there’s money for dredging and the Environment Agency’s role is changed.”
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said he wanted to see a “concrete plan” with input from local authorities, the Environment Agency, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport, the Internal Drainage Boards and the Department for Communities and Local Government – submitted to him by the first week in March.
Projects could include a dredging rivers, and other flood prevention measures like tidal doors and tree planting.
31st January 2014