Once again, farmers in Winmarleigh are battling flooded fields and the indifference of the Government.
It’s heart breaking to be here again, looking at flooded fields again. These farmers are still struggling to recover from the storms of late 2015 which left their fields flooded for months, and no sooner have they dried out, than they are flooded again.
Local farmer Adam Sutcliffe said,
“This flooding doesn’t just affect me, but my farm is one of the worst hit. When the Government decided that the Environment Agency wouldn’t maintain these drainage channels anymore, they didn’t work with the local community to hand over maintenance, they just pulled out.”
I’m calling on Andrea Leadsom as the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, to recognise the false economy of the Government’s austerity agenda as it risks the livelihoods of local farmers. These farmers need the Environment Agency to undertake the works necessary to ensure that this drainage system is effective, and to maintain the system until long-term local maintenance arrangements can be put in place.
Rachael Maskell, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs said
“The Government was due to release its report – national flood resilience review, before the summer recess, and has abjectly failed rural and urban communities by not setting out how it will support communities in the future. The flooding experienced last year has not provided the Government the urgency necessary to provide long term sustainable support to those who are trying to make a living off the land. As we are seeing increased unpredictability in our weather systems and increased flooding caused by climate change there is no time to waste. This is why Labour will have a comprehensive strategy to address flooding from catchment management, adequate defences and immediate support for those who are subject to flooding should prevention fail.”