FLAG Press Release re: Owen Paterson

Release date: 1/27/2014

Press Release

Monday 27th January 2014

FLAG Press Release re: Owen Paterson

The Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG) feels cautiously optimistic following the visit to Somerset by Owen Paterson. His announcement that a plan will be drawn up within 6 weeks to tackle the flooding in the Somerset Levels is a step in the right direction, but there is a fear that it will not go far enough.

He wants the plan drawn up by the Environment Agency and the local councils to produce “satisfactory results here over the next 20 years” and would “almost certainly” involve dredging the Parrett and the Tone rivers, which is encouraging as it appears to support a long term solution rather than a quick fix. We have been assured that the 6 week timeframe for the report is so that the relevant bodies can seek legal permission for the dredging to take place. Perhaps most importantly of all was Mr Paterson’s acceptance that this area is not a typical flood plain. He said, “Quite clearly the national guidelines do not appear to me to be appropriate for this very particular part of England…”

A member of FLAG was present at one of the meetings today with Owen Paterson, along with Ian Liddell Grainger MP and David Heath MP. Additional praise should be directed towards them for their continued support about this issue. FLAG has nearly 1500 members, some of whom have great local knowledge and expertise. We would be pleased to contribute to the preparation plan. We welcome any developments that will offer a long-term solution to the increasingly common and devastating flooding of the Somerset Levels.


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 @dredgetheriver

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