Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

More river funding ‘vital’ says NFU

06:00 11 January 2014

Meurig Raymond, National Farmers

Meurig Raymond, National Farmers' Union deputy president, who will be visiting Suffolk this month to attend a water meeting

andy catterall

More funding needs to be directed towards river maintenance to ensure flooding problems do not get worse and land in rural areas recovers as quickly as possible, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) says.

shares

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said flooding problems over the festive period underlined the need for a balance between Government investment in flood defence serving mainly urban areas and funding for river maintenance.

“Staff from the Environment Agency have done a fantastic job in hugely difficult circumstances, working long hours over the Christmas and New Year period and should be commended for the work they have done. But investment is needed to increase the capacity of the pumps the Environment Agency and the Internal Drainage Boards have available to help clear flood water quickly,” Mr Raymond said.

“Without adequate funding being made available to maintain waterways, flooding problems will only increase. The NFU recognises that the amount of funding available is limited and money has to be spent carefully. But £20million spent annually on river maintenance is not enough to do the job effectively.

“Maintenance is a key issue for farmers as regular periodic works maintains conveyance and capacity within the river system. This means floodwater can return to the river system quickly and reduces the extent and duration of any flooding. If water can’t return to the river system, flooding will extend over a greater area and last longer because the water has nowhere to go.

“While the Government’s announcement of an additional £5m for flood risk maintenance in 2015-16 has been welcome, on its own it cannot make up for many years of reductions in the Environment Agency’s revenue budget which funds its staff, maintenance work and flood warnings. The Environment Agency’s annual flood risk management revenue budget will be nearly £50m less in 2014-15 than it was in 2010-11.”

shares

0 comments

Chelmsford Crown Court

A woman has been left permanently disabled after a driver who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs smashed into her car.

Mark Bee has pushed to ensure better broadband is brought to Suffolk.

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee last night insisted he wants to continue playing “an active role” in politics in Suffolk, as he announced he would quit his role next month.

Suffolk dialect road sign

“Howd yew hud, tergether!’’

Abellio Greater Anglia said train services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich are returning to normal but some services may still be cancelled.

Train services in Suffolk are returning to normal this morning after high winds caused widespread disruption yesterday.

Mark Bee and his deputy Lisa Chambers at Endeavour House in Ipswich after they saw off last year's challenge to their leadership.

Conservative councillor Mark Bee is to step down as leader of Suffolk County Council after four years in the role.

Voting isn't the only form of political engagement

The ideological machine that is meant to serve us has gone wrong and is tyrannising us, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott the ballot box

Suffolk has an ageing population - but can we cope?

Dramatic increases in the average age of people in Suffolk have been highlighted in a report which reveals that in some areas nearly one in 10 are expected to be aged 85 or over in the next two decades.

Damage to overhead wires between Diss and Stowmarket - photo courtesy of Greater Anglia

Rail users face an afternoon and evening of severe delays on routes between Norwich and London, after high winds caused damage to overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Diss.

There is the potential for sweeping changes at Braintree District Council come election day – though in practice that is unlikely to happen.

Firefighters were called to the house fire

Firefighters were called to a house fire in Stowmarket this afternoon.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages