MP calls for 'radical action' to get flooding issues resolved
MP has this week claimed the Environment Agency is unable to cope
with flooding across Somerset and has demanded "more radical
action" to resolve the problems.
Munt told a debate in the House of Commons that more reliance
should be placed on local drainage boards with better information,
such as the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium which is based
have to say that the Environment Agency has been pretty clear
locally that it cannot cope with the situation, so much more radical
action is needed," she said.
expertise sits in the internal drainage boards. They have the
people with all the knowledge and they should be allowed to do
the work. They can do it. Somebody needs to take some action about
removing that responsibility from the Environment Agency."
added: "The reality, however, is that if the money paid by
internal drainage boards to the Environment Agency is given back
to the IDBs, such as the Axe Brue IDB in my area, along with some
responsibility, then contractors with expertise and knowledge
of the local area can actually carry out work to prevent flooding
really have to address this. I spoke with Richard Benyon, then
the Minister with responsibility for flooding, when he visited
farmers in my constituency in April last year."
added: "Promises have been made, but we need to take action
and stop the poor farmers and landowners, who are paying rates
to the drainage boards, having to pay twice. Every time they are
asked to respond by taking action to help themselves, they have
already paid for that response in the money that goes to the Environment
Agency. We have to do something."
MP also told the Commons that it is important that the Rivers
Axe and Brue - which run through the Burnham-On-Sea area - are
are also in need of dredging, and the level of flooding caused
by those rivers is extremely worrying for my constituents. So
it is not only the Tone and the Parrett that need dredging,"
Top, Tessa in the Commons and, above, with Richard Benyon, former
minister with responsibility for flooding, during his visit