DUTCH government officials are to meet with Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger to discuss bringing engineers across from Holland to sort out Somerset’s flooding problems.

Mr Liddell-Grainger says using Dutch expertise to dredge rivers could form “the key element” in a package of proposals that will be put to Defra Secretary Owen Paterson for providing a long-term solution.

Farmers say they have contacted a firm of Dutch engineers, which has quoted £3.5 million for dredging the central section of the River Parrett - £1.5 million less than the Environment Agency says it would need.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “If this is a serious bid and the work can be done for that price and within the time scale then obviously it is worth pursuing.

“I shall be meeting Dutch government representatives in London and in Strasbourg and seeing if we can progress this issue as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Liddell-Grainger said he was convinced that if a proper management plan could be drawn up it would be accepted by the Government.

He added: “The important thing is that Owen Paterson came down here with an open mind and has been able to see at least some of the problems for himself.

“I am only sorry Mr Paterson didn’t have a chance to meet more local people but his schedule was extremely tight.

“I can assure everyone that he got the message: that we cannot allow this horrific mess to reoccur and that the problems will have to be tackled and cleared up before next winter.”