FLAG Press Release re: Let the Dredging Commence

Release date: 3/30/2014

Dredging of the rivers Parrett and Tone has now started. The crucial 8km stretch that was identified by the Environment Agency (EA) modelling following the flood event of 2012 is currently where the operation is taking place.  

However FLAG is concerned because we still haven't seen the profiles or the quality of the dredge proposed. The EA are working towards restoring the Rivers to the 1960s profile, but currently we have not had access to those either.  It is essential that we have access to this information to ensure that there is total transparency for this dredge that is so vital for our future on the Levels.  
FLAG needs to keep the pressure on - the 20 Year Plan has lots of good ideas, but the funding isn't in place yet. It's FLAG’s role to continue to push for a change Government policy, this includes the acknowledgement that the Somerset levels are a unique place and that a fairer funding system is required. We need to ensure policy change occurs so that a whole catchment charge is agreed upon. This will make sure there is money for continued maintenance of the river systems and the infrastructure that is vital, including the upgrade of pumping stations such as North Moor. We need to ensure funding is spent wisely on essential projects and that taxpayers get the best value for money. 
As FLAG, we need to ensure that flooding of this scale and duration never happens again.

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Notes to Editors:

1. FLAG Somerset - Flooding on the Levels Action Group. Please find out more by visiting http://www.flagsomerset.org.uk or join our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/FLAGsomerset

2. Follow us on twitter @dredgetherivers

3. For more information or to contact us please email pressofficer@flagsomerset.org.uk