I first wrote about this three weeks ago, when I searched out the true local experts who could explain why this was happening and what needed to be done – none more knowledgeably than a group of senior members of the Royal Bath & West of England Agricultural Society, who have long been trying to attract government attention to a “disaster waiting to happen”….
Their message could not have been clearer. The prime reason for this disaster has been the deliberate refusal of the Environment Agency – since it took overall control of drainage and flooding policy in 1995 – to dredge the rivers that for centuries carried flood water from the Levels safely down to the sea. What was needed was, first, a resumption of dredging; then for the agency to get off the backs of the local drainage boards and farmers who, until 1995, had long kept the Levels properly drained as productive farmland with abundant wildlife.
So compelling was their message, I managed to convey to Mr Paterson that he needed urgently to meet these experts – which is precisely what happened behind closed doors last Sunday evening. One present said: “We were very impressed by how he asked all the right questions and came to all the right conclusions.” But none of this percolated through to the media….
Mr Paterson gave the relevant bodies six weeks to come up with an agreed action plan, based essentially on a return to the system that had kept the Levels drained for hundreds of years.
TAP – why is Paterson unable to realise that GMOs will cause millions of people around the world to contract cancer? That’s a type of flood he doesn’t seem able to get.
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