minister welcomed to Somerset by Burnham Conservative
prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate, James Heappey,
was the first in Somerset to welcome the new cabinet minister
for the environment, farming and rural affairs to the county on
Truss has recently replaced Owen Patterson in this month's Prime
Ministers reshuffle and she is now responsible for overseeing
the delivery of the Somerset flood action plan.
Heappey took the Secretary of State for a tour of the Cheddar
Valley to show her the lower River Axe before hosting a dinner
at the New Inn at Cross to brief her on the wider flooding issues
in the county and local farmers concerns over bovine tuberculosis
and falling milk prices.
delighted that the Secretary of State asked me to show her around
our part of Somerset and that she made so much time available
so that I could fully brief her on the issues affecting local
farmers," said Mr Heappey.
winters floods were not just damaging for our agricultural
industry but for tourism too. I emphasised to Liz that tackling
flooding really does need to be a priority and that the solution
is to harness the real expertise that exists within the Internal
Drainage Boards and the farming community."
Somerset Rivers Board or whatever it is to be called
must be dynamic and driven by local experience so that it is agile
enough to manage our complex network of drains and rivers."
Fridays meeting with Julie Girling MEP in Burnham-On-Sea
to discuss the quality of the bathing water off Burnhams
beach, Mr Heappey also raised with the minister the need to help
farmers improve the way they hold their slurry and the management
of other agricultural pollutants that are partly responsible for
the water quality issues off Burnham.
asked Liz to prioritise grant applications for farmyard upgrades
from farms that were deemed by the Environment Agency to be in
the parts of the catchment area that most affected bathing water
quality in the town," said Mr Heappey.
is going to ask her department to look at how that might be achieved
and we will continue to work together to help improve the quality
of Burnhams bathing water."