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Environment Agency: 'Could have done better over flooding'

The Environment Agency chairman has admitted to ITV News that "we could have done better" in tackling the flooded areas in Somerset. But Lord Smith defended the agency's priorities, saying they were working with a "purse that was not limitless."

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Lord Smith: 'We have not done as much as we should'

Lord Smith said dredging of the Tone and Parrett (pictured) rivers would have to be "an element" of future plans. Credit: PA

Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith has admitted "we probably have not done as much as we should have done" to dredge the rivers around the Somerset Levels.

He told Sky News: "I haven't yet been, in the last four weeks, to the Somerset Levels but I have been to the Somerset Levels on three occasions in the course of the last year and will be going back there."

Asked if the Environment Agency had been wrong up until now he said: "We probably have not done as much as we should have done up to now and I regret that. But we have had very difficult choices to make, reducing budgets to cope with.

"What we now need to do is work together with others, because it is not something just for the Environment Agency, we need to work with others in order to address the issues for the future."

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