Cameron urged to support £100million flood action plan

Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger talks with David Cameron about the flood plan

Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger talks with David Cameron about the flood plan

First published in News Yeovil Express: Photograph of the Author by

PRIME Minister David Cameron is being urged to support a £100million plan to protect the Somerset Levels from more devastating floods.

As reported, The Somerset Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan includes measures to dredge rivers, raise roads, and another look at the Bridgwater Barrage.

Now the 20-year plan has been released to the public and Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger will deliver it to Downing Street later today (March 6).

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “The Prime Minister made it very clear that money would be no object on this. If we are going to secure the Levels for the future we are going to have to do this.”

He added: “We have come up with a very mature, sophisticated document which will give a long term strategy to a long term problem.

“The Prime Minister gave us the opportunity and we want to protect us, so we are saying this is what it is going to cost and if you sign up it is something you are not going to look back on.”

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was in Taunton yesterday (March 5) meeting the leaders of Somerset County Council, John Osman, Sedgemoor District Council, Duncan McGinty, and South Somerset District Council’s Ric Pallister, to ensure they are “on board” with the draft plan.

The plan, requested by Mr Paterson six weeks ago, proposes a tidal barrage across the River Parrett. However, it admits that could take up to 15 years and cost up to £30 million.

It suggests raising the levels of the A361 and the A362 to stop communities such as Muchelney being cut off by floods.

Dredging five miles of the rivers Tone and Parrett should start at the end of the month, costing an initial £5.5 million and then £1.2 million annually.

Among the first to see the Plan was the Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG). Chairman Heather Venn said the group was “cautiously optimistic”.

“We need to keep a careful eye on this, and it is absolutely crucial that the funding is there, but it is a very positive first step and we welcome much that is in it,” she said.

The 23-page document says: “The total cost of the measures identified within this plan are in excess of £100 million over the next 10 years.

“This figure is clearly beyond the amount that local partners can provide alone without having to undermine essential services, or make difficult and divisive choices on critical issues like growth and infrastructure provision at both the local and LEP (local enterprise partnership) level.”

It adds: “It is an assessment of what can be done to avoid a repeat of the events of the last three months on the Levels and moors, and recognises the choices and decisions that will be needed on the best mix of approaches and actions to provide long-term security to those worst-affected communities.”

Council Leader John Osman said: “We have worked together to find solutions in the short, medium and long term.

“The Plan contains some firm ideas for what we can do now, but also some broad ambitions such as a sluice or barrage for the River Parrett and long term projects to prevent water entering the area in the first place.

“We listened to local people in drawing up the plan and we will spend a lot of time now talking and listening to them again to ensure the plan is fit for purpose and supported by local people.”

To view the summary of the plan click here, or to view the plan click here.

Comments (9)

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5:02pm Thu 6 Mar 14

MR.GOF says...

Thats cheap yes go for it, and this must never happen again.this country give`s the eu 50 milion pounds a DAY,.....
Don`t want to hear that we can`t afford it!
Thats cheap yes go for it, and this must never happen again.this country give`s the eu 50 milion pounds a DAY,..... Don`t want to hear that we can`t afford it! MR.GOF
  • Score: 4

6:42pm Thu 6 Mar 14

the voice of common sense says...

Yes, come on Dave, we all saw you on National T.V. saying, and I quote, "this must never happen again, money is no object we have £130,000,000 to protect Somerset"

That is not difficult to understand what he was saying so we can look forward to raising the A361 between Burrowbridge and East Lyng by about 10 feet and the construction of a tidal barrier to protect Sedgemoor just like they got in London, alongside dredging, installing pumps on a permanent basis rather than 4 weeks after they were needed and widening the man made drainage channels to obtain a better flow of water to drain our land, I expect the local construction firms are already hiring more workers in anticipation of this once in a life time chance to protect us from the future floods!

I can already hear the pigs starting their engines before they go off for a flight over the flooded levels next year.

If on the other hand it does happen then I will vote for the Tory party at the next election!
Yes, come on Dave, we all saw you on National T.V. saying, and I quote, "this must never happen again, money is no object we have £130,000,000 to protect Somerset" That is not difficult to understand what he was saying so we can look forward to raising the A361 between Burrowbridge and East Lyng by about 10 feet and the construction of a tidal barrier to protect Sedgemoor just like they got in London, alongside dredging, installing pumps on a permanent basis rather than 4 weeks after they were needed and widening the man made drainage channels to obtain a better flow of water to drain our land, I expect the local construction firms are already hiring more workers in anticipation of this once in a life time chance to protect us from the future floods! I can already hear the pigs starting their engines before they go off for a flight over the flooded levels next year. If on the other hand it does happen then I will vote for the Tory party at the next election! the voice of common sense
  • Score: 1

9:17pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Hugo101 says...

This is going to cost a fortune just for a few farmers to remain on the levels.
I hear that a new local Somerset Tax could be levied to cover these costs which can only continue to get bigger as the sea level rises and the 'climate change' weather continues.
But lets remember the dredging stopped because of the expense and the fact that monks in the doomsday time reclaimed the land, perhaps its time to give the levels back to nature.
This is going to cost a fortune just for a few farmers to remain on the levels. I hear that a new local Somerset Tax could be levied to cover these costs which can only continue to get bigger as the sea level rises and the 'climate change' weather continues. But lets remember the dredging stopped because of the expense and the fact that monks in the doomsday time reclaimed the land, perhaps its time to give the levels back to nature. Hugo101
  • Score: 0

10:04pm Thu 6 Mar 14

bluebanana says...

Also, remember....the record level of rain we just had would've flooded somerset (and everywhere else) whether there was dredging or defences or not. Dont be fooled by that idiot Liddell Grainger and the other subsidy grabbing farmers, the problem is nowhere near as bad as they think!
Also, remember....the record level of rain we just had would've flooded somerset (and everywhere else) whether there was dredging or defences or not. Dont be fooled by that idiot Liddell Grainger and the other subsidy grabbing farmers, the problem is nowhere near as bad as they think! bluebanana
  • Score: -1

8:29am Fri 7 Mar 14

awayswing says...

I fail to understand why some or all of the the flood prevention funding should come from local taxation.The Thames Barrier and other infrastructure improvements are not funded in this way and as far as I am aware never have been.It appears that Cameron is trying to go back on his word regarding funding.The money should be found from the Treasury,that is why we pay our taxes, for protection for the all the people of this country.
I fail to understand why some or all of the the flood prevention funding should come from local taxation.The Thames Barrier and other infrastructure improvements are not funded in this way and as far as I am aware never have been.It appears that Cameron is trying to go back on his word regarding funding.The money should be found from the Treasury,that is why we pay our taxes, for protection for the all the people of this country. awayswing
  • Score: 2

8:51am Fri 7 Mar 14

quantock people says...

To help the Somerset levels from flooding all the Goverment has to do is (and I said this before) stop giving money to other countries for just one week of the year and we will tenfold the Hundred Million needed for this very important project. "ITS THAT EASY"
So MR Cameron stop scratching you head, and a little more action.p, WE NEED THIS TO HAPPEN.
To help the Somerset levels from flooding all the Goverment has to do is (and I said this before) stop giving money to other countries for just one week of the year and we will tenfold the Hundred Million needed for this very important project. "ITS THAT EASY" So MR Cameron stop scratching you head, and a little more action.p, WE NEED THIS TO HAPPEN. quantock people
  • Score: 3

9:26am Fri 7 Mar 14

Dafydd y Garreg Wen says...

Hugo101 wrote:
This is going to cost a fortune just for a few farmers to remain on the levels.
I hear that a new local Somerset Tax could be levied to cover these costs which can only continue to get bigger as the sea level rises and the 'climate change' weather continues.
But lets remember the dredging stopped because of the expense and the fact that monks in the doomsday time reclaimed the land, perhaps its time to give the levels back to nature.
If dredging stopped because of costs, then blame that unelected body, the EU. As is it not them who have regulated that silt is to be classified as contaminated and therefore costs £120 per ton to remove? Who gets that cash? As for climate change, well was that not previously referred to as global warming until it was realised that temperatures had not increased for the last17 years? For those communities that have been flooded for months, I do not begrudge one penny of this taxpayers money.
[quote][p][bold]Hugo101[/bold] wrote: This is going to cost a fortune just for a few farmers to remain on the levels. I hear that a new local Somerset Tax could be levied to cover these costs which can only continue to get bigger as the sea level rises and the 'climate change' weather continues. But lets remember the dredging stopped because of the expense and the fact that monks in the doomsday time reclaimed the land, perhaps its time to give the levels back to nature.[/p][/quote]If dredging stopped because of costs, then blame that unelected body, the EU. As is it not them who have regulated that silt is to be classified as contaminated and therefore costs £120 per ton to remove? Who gets that cash? As for climate change, well was that not previously referred to as global warming until it was realised that temperatures had not increased for the last17 years? For those communities that have been flooded for months, I do not begrudge one penny of this taxpayers money. Dafydd y Garreg Wen
  • Score: 2

11:29pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Blue Owl says...

Where is the EU Flood Grant to help our Communities, no where to be seen.So far, I agree with those who say that, we as a Country must hold back from the Continuous giving of Aid, outside of our own Country. Our Pensioners, must be Given a Proper Pension, based on the 45 + Tears, that they have worked And Contributed. Let them have the £26 K, that the Useless jobless Scroungers say they cannot exist of off. In turn give the Jobless, as to what the Pensioners get in Pensions as they stand, I bet they would sod find Employment.......
The Silt we are now Told, by the E Agency, is NOT Contaminated, over the Last 8yrs the River Parrett, has transformed, into a Self Cleansed River.
From what they persistently told me all those years, that the Silt could not be used to build the Banks, to heighten them to prevent overTopping.
I do not agree with the A361, and the Aller To Othery Roads, being raised, sort out the Water Courses, and spend the £30-£35 Million, on the Sluice / Barrage, but include a Road across the Top, to Hinckley C from Dunball.
Joined up thinking, Joined Up Actions.......
David L Preece
Blue-Owl.
Where is the EU Flood Grant to help our Communities, no where to be seen.So far, I agree with those who say that, we as a Country must hold back from the Continuous giving of Aid, outside of our own Country. Our Pensioners, must be Given a Proper Pension, based on the 45 + Tears, that they have worked And Contributed. Let them have the £26 K, that the Useless jobless Scroungers say they cannot exist of off. In turn give the Jobless, as to what the Pensioners get in Pensions as they stand, I bet they would sod find Employment....... The Silt we are now Told, by the E Agency, is NOT Contaminated, over the Last 8yrs the River Parrett, has transformed, into a Self Cleansed River. From what they persistently told me all those years, that the Silt could not be used to build the Banks, to heighten them to prevent overTopping. I do not agree with the A361, and the Aller To Othery Roads, being raised, sort out the Water Courses, and spend the £30-£35 Million, on the Sluice / Barrage, but include a Road across the Top, to Hinckley C from Dunball. Joined up thinking, Joined Up Actions....... David L Preece Blue-Owl. Blue Owl
  • Score: -1

8:51am Thu 13 Mar 14

awayswing says...

Blue Owl wrote:
Where is the EU Flood Grant to help our Communities, no where to be seen.So far, I agree with those who say that, we as a Country must hold back from the Continuous giving of Aid, outside of our own Country. Our Pensioners, must be Given a Proper Pension, based on the 45 + Tears, that they have worked And Contributed. Let them have the £26 K, that the Useless jobless Scroungers say they cannot exist of off. In turn give the Jobless, as to what the Pensioners get in Pensions as they stand, I bet they would sod find Employment.......
The Silt we are now Told, by the E Agency, is NOT Contaminated, over the Last 8yrs the River Parrett, has transformed, into a Self Cleansed River.
From what they persistently told me all those years, that the Silt could not be used to build the Banks, to heighten them to prevent overTopping.
I do not agree with the A361, and the Aller To Othery Roads, being raised, sort out the Water Courses, and spend the £30-£35 Million, on the Sluice / Barrage, but include a Road across the Top, to Hinckley C from Dunball.
Joined up thinking, Joined Up Actions.......
David L Preece
Blue-Owl.
Apparently Cameron is averse to applying for financial help from the EU for political reasons.If the application was successful he would have to admit that this country was benefiting from EU membership and this would upset his backbenchers.Anythin
g Cameron says should be treated with the utmost caution,not to say disbelieved,he said no expense would be spared regarding the flooding.Clearly he did not mean it.
[quote][p][bold]Blue Owl[/bold] wrote: Where is the EU Flood Grant to help our Communities, no where to be seen.So far, I agree with those who say that, we as a Country must hold back from the Continuous giving of Aid, outside of our own Country. Our Pensioners, must be Given a Proper Pension, based on the 45 + Tears, that they have worked And Contributed. Let them have the £26 K, that the Useless jobless Scroungers say they cannot exist of off. In turn give the Jobless, as to what the Pensioners get in Pensions as they stand, I bet they would sod find Employment....... The Silt we are now Told, by the E Agency, is NOT Contaminated, over the Last 8yrs the River Parrett, has transformed, into a Self Cleansed River. From what they persistently told me all those years, that the Silt could not be used to build the Banks, to heighten them to prevent overTopping. I do not agree with the A361, and the Aller To Othery Roads, being raised, sort out the Water Courses, and spend the £30-£35 Million, on the Sluice / Barrage, but include a Road across the Top, to Hinckley C from Dunball. Joined up thinking, Joined Up Actions....... David L Preece Blue-Owl.[/p][/quote]Apparently Cameron is averse to applying for financial help from the EU for political reasons.If the application was successful he would have to admit that this country was benefiting from EU membership and this would upset his backbenchers.Anythin g Cameron says should be treated with the utmost caution,not to say disbelieved,he said no expense would be spared regarding the flooding.Clearly he did not mean it. awayswing
  • Score: 0

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