Dredging budget 'not enough' says Environment Agency

Dredging budget 'not enough' says Environment Agency

Dredging budget 'not enough' says Environment Agency

First published in News by

THE Environment Agency has warned the budget of around £2million for river dredging next year “won’t be enough”.

The revelation came at a special meeting of Sedgemoor’s corporate community scrutiny committees on Friday, which aimed to analyse the response to the winter flooding and take steps to prevent mistakes happening again. 

Nick Gupta, Environment Agency area manager, told councillors that despite the financial support the Somerset Flooding Group has rec-eived, the current dredging budget next year won’t be enough based on this year’s figures.

Around 12 members attended the meeting at Sedgemoor District Coun-cil, Bridgwater, to highlight key areas of risks, improvements and what must be done by responsible authorities.

Sedgemoor councillors were urged to demand that the Government publishes the reasons why the Environ-ment Agency failed to act quickly en-ough to avoid 47 square miles of Sedgemoor being flooded for so long.

West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger told members he was “disgusted” by how Somerset County Council and the Environment Agency handled the flooding.

Also present were Kerry Rickards, chief executive, Cllr Duncan McGinty, leader, Sarah Dowden, civil contingencies manager, and Alan Lovell, Wessex Regional Flood Committee chairman.

Nothing has been set in stone in terms of Somerset’s ‘20-year plan’ to prevent further major floods, but the EA stated that “it is going in the right direction”.

Tony Bradford, an independent farmer and a member of the Parrett Internal Drainage Board, said: “We need a plan that’s going to be started in the next two to three years, never mind 20.

“We have an opportunity and we need everyone to get behind the plan to get all the remaining water away as quick as possible.

“If we don’t put this right now we might as well pack up and give in.”

The committee also agreed the following recommendations which will now go before the executive committee on September 10: 

- That the trigger mechanisms the Environment Agency will be using to minimise the risk of flooding to property and agricultural land will be considered at a future scrutiny committee. 

- The Council calls upon Govern-ment to fund the building of the Parrett Tidal Exclusion Barrier and a permanent pumping station at Dunball and to announce this in the Autumn Budget Statement.

- To call upon the Environment Agency and Somerset County Council as the statutory water management authority to identify at the earliest at point at which a major incident will be declared in the future.

- SDC will continue to vigorously lobby Government to make sure the necessary funding will be available for flood protection.

- To visit the pumping stations and other key sites to understand the issues.

Comments (7)

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9:11pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Blue Owl says...

What has to be established is just what needs to be done to prevent a re-occurance of the last two years devestating floods, the E Agency are playing Politics, they must determine as to what they are going to do now as preventative measures, then let the Internal Drainage Boards do what they consider neccessary.
It seems from the Environment Agency that they want the IDB to have a Seperate Funding Stream, Why is strange to me. These two Bodies must co-operate for the greater good, ie the Villagers whose Devestated lives are still in limbo six months after the Floods, some will not be back into their properties before Christmas this year.
The Environment Agency must be more open to Scrutiny, as to how much their Budget is for 2014-15 and how that Budget is to be spent. And Where. Then we need to know the Timetable of remedial works to protect our region from the Flooding that we have suffered in the past 2 years, we are supposed to be in a 1/100 year Risk Area ?? So have they got their Stats wrong ???? I do Hope Not !! We have their Stats ???? Will it be another Disasterous Winter Period.
David L Preece
Blue -Owl
What has to be established is just what needs to be done to prevent a re-occurance of the last two years devestating floods, the E Agency are playing Politics, they must determine as to what they are going to do now as preventative measures, then let the Internal Drainage Boards do what they consider neccessary. It seems from the Environment Agency that they want the IDB to have a Seperate Funding Stream, Why is strange to me. These two Bodies must co-operate for the greater good, ie the Villagers whose Devestated lives are still in limbo six months after the Floods, some will not be back into their properties before Christmas this year. The Environment Agency must be more open to Scrutiny, as to how much their Budget is for 2014-15 and how that Budget is to be spent. And Where. Then we need to know the Timetable of remedial works to protect our region from the Flooding that we have suffered in the past 2 years, we are supposed to be in a 1/100 year Risk Area ?? So have they got their Stats wrong ???? I do Hope Not !! We have their Stats ???? Will it be another Disasterous Winter Period. David L Preece Blue -Owl Blue Owl
  • Score: -8

10:40am Mon 4 Aug 14

Boring says...

This Government cut the EA budget as soon as it came to power,that answers all you need to know.
It always floods during the winter in parts of Somerset,it's been worse the last couple of years because of the amount of rain we have had.

Cameron and his chums cut the budget,then tried to blame the EA,sums this Government up 100%.
This Government cut the EA budget as soon as it came to power,that answers all you need to know. It always floods during the winter in parts of Somerset,it's been worse the last couple of years because of the amount of rain we have had. Cameron and his chums cut the budget,then tried to blame the EA,sums this Government up 100%. Boring
  • Score: 6

11:29am Mon 4 Aug 14

Boring says...

As for you saying that the EA "are playing politics", what absolute rubbish.
All normal folk in this country know which side were playing political games,it wasn't and isn't the EA,it's been the likes of ILG and his inept friends.
As for you saying that the EA "are playing politics", what absolute rubbish. All normal folk in this country know which side were playing political games,it wasn't and isn't the EA,it's been the likes of ILG and his inept friends. Boring
  • Score: 7

12:31pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Itsmeagen says...

Blue Owl - hope you had a nice weekend. Good to see you have started a new debate about the EA and IDB here but would be grateful if you would also respond to my posts regarding the barrier and Liz Truss comment on the other thread and also the points I raised on the Tesco thread
Blue Owl - hope you had a nice weekend. Good to see you have started a new debate about the EA and IDB here but would be grateful if you would also respond to my posts regarding the barrier and Liz Truss comment on the other thread and also the points I raised on the Tesco thread Itsmeagen
  • Score: 3

4:37pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Bridgy old Boy says...

it is quite clear that the reduction in EA maintenance was a direct result of a reduction in the budget its called "cause and effect". I note today a report out that Local Government has had its budget cut by 30% since 2010. No wonder the roads are in a state and Somerset Social Services are in special measures. But what I find depressing is that the likes of ILG and his local fan club choose to ignore the fact that he has backed the austerity measurs 100% yet still seek to blame someone else for the misery heaped on others as a result of the budgetary measures.
it is quite clear that the reduction in EA maintenance was a direct result of a reduction in the budget its called "cause and effect". I note today a report out that Local Government has had its budget cut by 30% since 2010. No wonder the roads are in a state and Somerset Social Services are in special measures. But what I find depressing is that the likes of ILG and his local fan club choose to ignore the fact that he has backed the austerity measurs 100% yet still seek to blame someone else for the misery heaped on others as a result of the budgetary measures. Bridgy old Boy
  • Score: 8

7:30pm Mon 4 Aug 14

MR.GOF says...

well you don`t say,what they are doing won`t do a thing and this will flood in the same way again.the so called experts will get wrong again and who is going to pay for it,all of us.lets call in the experts from Holland to help us and now.
well you don`t say,what they are doing won`t do a thing and this will flood in the same way again.the so called experts will get wrong again and who is going to pay for it,all of us.lets call in the experts from Holland to help us and now. MR.GOF
  • Score: -1

5:12pm Tue 5 Aug 14

freddie_mercury_undercover_reporter says...

Itsmeagen wrote:
Blue Owl - hope you had a nice weekend. Good to see you have started a new debate about the EA and IDB here but would be grateful if you would also respond to my posts regarding the barrier and Liz Truss comment on the other thread and also the points I raised on the Tesco thread
It still makes me chuckle how he's all over everything like a rash until some pertinent questions are tabled. It happens to me quite a lot too - but you're extremely courteous and polite so I can't think why there's no response......
[quote][p][bold]Itsmeagen[/bold] wrote: Blue Owl - hope you had a nice weekend. Good to see you have started a new debate about the EA and IDB here but would be grateful if you would also respond to my posts regarding the barrier and Liz Truss comment on the other thread and also the points I raised on the Tesco thread[/p][/quote]It still makes me chuckle how he's all over everything like a rash until some pertinent questions are tabled. It happens to me quite a lot too - but you're extremely courteous and polite so I can't think why there's no response...... freddie_mercury_undercover_reporter
  • Score: 4

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