Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge’s MP James Heappey has said this week he is “reassured” by the Environment Agency’s work to reduce the risk of flooding within the area.

Mr Heappey has visited coastal flood defences at Burnham-On-Sea, Berrow and Brean as well as key sites along the River Axe and River Brue to see for himself the work to maintain them by the Environment Agency.

Technical experts talked Mr Heappey through the work that the Agency has carried out on the Brue and the supporting network or drains and pumping stations.

He heard that the Brue had last flooded in the summer of 2012 and has a large catchment area extending from Bruton through Glastonbury and Street and across to Highbridge where it joins the River Parrett.

The Environment Agency showed Mr Heappey the challenges of managing the Brue from its ancient banks constructed centuries ago by the monks of Glastonbury through to the competing demands of environmental legislation which “too often protect fish and wildlife ahead of the neighbouring farm land”. They also discussed the new funding arrangements since the establishment of the Somerset Rivers Authority.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It’s so easy to forget about the flood risk when the sun is shining but I wanted to make sure that all parts of the Wells Constituency continue to be as well protected as possible before any bad weather arrives this winter.”

“These visits with the Environment Agency have been enormously helpful so that I can see the programme of work they are undertaking on the rivers, drains and sea walls across my constituency.”

“It has been reassuring to see that they have been funded to do much of the work that needed to be done but clearly the work never stops and it is important that they continue to be properly funded to deliver the protection communities and businesses in our part of Somerset need.”

“I will continue to support Government ministers, the Somerset Rivers Authority, the Drainage Boards and the local campaign groups to make sure that all parts of the Somerset rivers system and our coastal defences are properly maintained and that the flood risk is kept to an absolute minimum.”