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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 targeted 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.

West Country (E)

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.

West Country (E)

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.


Environment Secretary 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%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.

West Country (E)

Paterson promises dredging WILL finish on schedule

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson meeting members of the Environment Agency and other organisations on the Somerset Levels Credit: ITV News West Country

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.

The number of dredgers is due to increase in the next few weeks Credit: ITV News West Country

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 will be in Somerset today

Environment Secretary will be in Somerset today Credit: ITV News West Country

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.

West Country (E)

Environment Minister claims dredging still on track

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

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