A Somerset MP who says she wrote to the new Environment Secretary inviting her to meet local farmers, says she's disappointed that she failed to do so.
Wells MP Tessa Munt has criticised Liz Truss for failing to take the opportunity to meet with a group of local farmers and landowners from the Axe and Brue catchment areas during her visit to the Somerset Levels yesterday.
I know local people will be disappointed that she was unwilling to meet with them. I have the means to contact 1,100 affected smallholders, tenants and farmers with land abutting the Axe and Brue Rivers at short notice, and although they have missed out this time, I will write to Liz Truss again, asking that she meet those affected in my area so she understands these problems are not limited to the Parrett and the Tone.
The new Environment Secretary has told ITV News that badgers won't be gassed as part of the badger cull. Liz Truss was speaking on a visit to Somerset, just ten days after taking over from Owen Paterson in the cabinet reshuffle.
Her comments came as she toured dredging work in Burrowbridge as part of the plan to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods on the Somerset Levels.
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%t 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.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has been to see dredging work being carried out on the Somerset Levels today following concerns that the work had got off to a slow start.
The Environment Agency is dredging five miles of the rivers Tone and Parrett to make the water flow more easily and hopefully prevent a repeat of last winter's floods.
Mr Paterson said that, although only 10% of the work had been completed so far, it would be finished on schedule by the end of October and the number of dredgers would be increased from two to six in the coming weeks.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will be meeting with the Environment Agency in Somerset today. He'll be discussing the progress of new flood defence work on the Levels after it was revealed only 5% of dredging had been completed.
They say they're confident it will be completed on time.
On day one of the Bath and West Show the impact of the exceptionally wet winter on the farming community has been a major talking point.
The Floods Minister Dan Rogerson has responded to criticism that the dredging operation to clear the River Parrett is running behind schedule, and this afternoon the Duchess of Cornwall met with Somerset flooding victims to hear how they're recovering. Bob Cruwys reports