Anti-flood schemes ‘secure future of levels’

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has welcomed the Government’s commitment to keeping the most vulnerable parts of his constituency flood-free.

Around £1.7 million has been earmarked for schemes across Bridgwater and West Somerset under a six-year plan which will see the Government spending £5.2 billion nationally to protect 336,000 properties.

The work includes a £1.5 million refurbishment for the sluice gates at Dunball, near Bridgwater, and £195,000 for improvements to the West Sedgemoor pumping station.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said the announcement would come as a huge relief to hundreds of families on the Levels who were affected by the catastrophic floods of 2014.

The commitment to this spending is a very welcome indicator of the fact that the Government is determined to keep those families and all others in the area safe from disastrous flooding for the foreseeable future,” he said.

It also implicitly rules out the extreme option advocated by some in the environmental movement – of stopping all drainage work on the Levels and allowing nature to take its course.

That always was a ludicrous suggestion because it would rapidly have turned the area back into an uninhabited, uninhabitable and unattractive swamp.

The Levels look as attractive as they do today thanks to centuries of careful management and of co-operation between farmers, landowners and the relevant local authorities.

That has bequeathed us a working, highly productive landscape and a series of attractive settlements while creating a wildlife habitat which has earned the highest international ranking.

I am delighted there is now a clear determination on the part of Government to ensure that pleasant state of affairs continues.”

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