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EA considering increasing security after fuel thieves strike again

Dredging on the Somerset levels had to stop for a time today because fuel thieves have targetted the site for a second time.

Diesel has been stolen from 5 machines being used on the banks of the Rivers Parrett and Tone. The Environment Agency is now considering bringing in additional security. Francesca Carpenter reports.


Plans announced to tackle future flooding on the Somerset Levels

Plans to raise the road into Muchelney Credit: ITV West Country

Villagers on the Somerset Levels, who were cut off in the winter floods, will be able to see plans to solve the problem today. Somerset County Council wants to raise the road into Muchelney by two feet to maintain access.

A drop-in session is taking place at the village church this afternoon. It comes as the Prince of Wales, who used the emergency boat service back in February, is due to return to Mulchelney next week.

Somerset MP says flooding 'was no surprise'

A Somerset MP whose constituency was badly affected by the winter floods has warned that people will not stand for government promises that are not delivered.

David Heath, MP for Somerton and Frome, told a Parliamentary debate that no-one should have been surprised at the extent of the floods, given the warnings about a lack of dredging. He said proposals to maintain rivers and improve drainage must be carried out.

Only quarter of £10m flood recovery applied for

ITV News can reveal that farmers affected by the winter floods have applied for just a quarter of the emergency funding made available by the Government.

£10 million has been set aside to help farms recover, but Defra says so far applications total just over £2.5 million - and the deadline is tomorrow.

The application process has been criticised for being too complicated and many of those who've been approved say they still haven't had the money, including Somerset farmer James Winslade. Bob Cruwys has this exclusive report.


Just a quarter of Farming Recovery Fund has been applied for

Only a quarter of the Government's Farming recovery Fund has been applied for

Just a quarter of the Government's £10 million Farming Recovery Fund has been applied for, as the deadline for applications approaches.

The fund was set up to help farmers affected by the winter floods in areas like the Somerset Levels to get back on their feet.

DEFRA says it has so far received 229 applications, worth a total of £2.69 million. The window for farmers to apply for grants up to £35,000 closes tomorrow, 27th June.

Dredging begins again after power cable accident

A dredger left idle at Riverside near Burrowbridge Credit: ITV News West Country

Dredging on one part of the Somerset levels has just started again after being put on hold when a digger hit an overhead power cable.

It happened on Saturday at Riverside near Burrowbridge. No one was hurt.

The Environment Agency says dredging was stopped while it reviewed working methods.

Other teams working on the Rivers Parrett and Tone were not affected.

EA to increase dredging on the Somerset Levels

EA to increase teams dredging the rivers Parrett and Tone Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Environment Agency will be increasing the number of dredging teams on the Somerset Levels amid concerns that the work has been progressing too slowly.

The decision follows a visit to the Levels by Environment Secretary Owen Patterson last week. So far the EA have dredged just 10% of the planned 8km of the rivers Parrett and Tone.

Owen Paterson says dredging WILL be done on time

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson pledged today that the dredging of two important rivers on the Somerset Levels WOULD be completed by October, as promised.

That's despite the fact that only 10% of the work has been completed in the seven weeks so far. The Environment Agency says it's preparing to bring in four more dredging teams to help get the job done. Bob Constantine reports.

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