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  1. West Country (E)

MP's plea to government over flood prevention funding

The flooded Somerset Levels in February 2014 Credit: PA

Ian Liddell-Grainger says he intends to confront the Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, about a commitment to provide £3 million to set up a new Somerset Rivers Board, and to support a tidal barrage across the river Parrett at Bridgwater.

He says these are needed to prevent a repeat of last winter's flooding.

What I need is for the Secretary of State to say we will make absolutely sure you get the interim funding. We'll agree on the setting up and the start date, which I think is fairly non-contentious. But we will also make sure that that barrage, and funding, will be made available in the near future through the autumn statement.

– Ian LIDDELL-GRAINGER MP Con, Bridgwater & West Somerset
  1. West Country (E)

Somerset MP criticises minister over flood commitments

A Somerset MP has criticised the Environment Secretary for what he regards as a failure to promise money for further flood prevention work.

Ian Liddell-Grainger says he intends to confront Liz Truss about a commitment to provide £3 million to set up a new Somerset rivers board, and to support a tidal barrage across the River Parrett at Bridgwater.

Prime Minister David Cameron with Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger (right) during a visit to Goodings Farm in Fordgate, Somerset. Credit: PA

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  1. West Country (E)

Environment Agency reassures people over dredging

The Environment Agency is hoping to reassure residents that the dredging work it has done so far will significantly reduce the risk of flooding but it can't be ruled out Credit: ITV News

The dredging of the Rivers Parrett and Tone on the Somerset Levels is now complete. The Environment Agency has been trying to reassure residents that it will be enough to prevent further flooding but says it cannot rule out the prospect.

It has revealed the following details:

8km of river was dredged at a cost of £6 million pounds. The silt removed in the operation was used to improve 250 acres of farmland.

Work has taken place at Dunball to ensure emergency pumps can be brought in at a moment's notice should they be required.

Options for increasing the capacity of the King's Sedgemoor drain are being considered. £8 million is available for the work

Bridgwater MP accuses Environment Secretary of 'gross insensitivity'

Ian Liddell-Grainger with David Cameron on a visit to see floods Credit: PA

Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has accused The Environment Secretary Liz Truss of gross insensitivity towards families whose homes were flooded on the Somerset Levels. Ms Truss is due in Stoke St Gregory near Taunton today to mark the end of dredging on the Rivers Parrett and Tone. But the Bridgwater MP is angry she's not visiting communities where families still haven't moved back into their homes.

Environment Secretary expected to lose his job in cabinet reshuffle

Owen Paterson MP visiting Northmoor Pumping Station in January Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is expected to lose his job in David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle.

The Conservative minister came under intense pressure, following his handling of the flooding on the Somerset levels, and also received criticism for the horsemeat scandal and unsuccessful badger culls. Meanwhile, North Somerset MP Liam Fox is tipped to make a return to the front benches.

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Appeal for pledges after success of farm aid campaign

The NFU say they cannot accept anymore supplies Credit: ITV News West Country

The National Farmers Union are asking for people to make pledges rather than send supplies to help farmers on the flooded Somerset Levels.

After the great success of a social media campaign - known as Forage Aid - appealing for forage and bedding, the NFU say the immediate needs of farmers have been met and no more supplies can be accepted.

Instead, they're now asking people to pledge offers of help.

Melanie Squires from the NFU said "What we need now are pledges of fodder and straw or financial donations rather than actual deliveries, so that we can call upon people’s generosity as and when it is required over the coming weeks and months, when the waters finally abate."

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