Environment Secretary Owen Paterson in Taunton to see 20-year flood plan

This is The West Country: Owen Paterson MP. Owen Paterson MP.

DREDGING rivers, managing land and raising roads are among the key points included in a 20-year flood action plan to stop a repeat of flooding on the Somerset Levels.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was in Taunton this morning (March 5) meeting the leaders of Somerset County Council, John Osman, Sedgemoor District Council, Duncan McGinty, and South Somerset District Council’s Ric Pallister, to ensure they are “on board” with the draft plan.

The plan will be submitted to the Government tomorrow (March 6) and the County Gazette understands the masterplan to solve Somerset’s flooding problems will cost £100million.

Somerset’s MPs Jeremy Browne, Ian Liddell-Grainger and David Heath are in London ensuring Ministers are “on side” with the plan.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “We were given six weeks to come up with a plan and this shows we have taken the challenge.

“Owen was in Taunton to see if the leaders were on board as much as they can be at this stage – there are always going to be niggles.

“All the important things like dredging that you would want to be in the plan are there.”

During the Prime Minister’s visit to Taunton last month, he promised “money was no object” and “everything that was needed to be done, would be done”.

Mr Liddell-Grainger believes the Government will accept the plan, adding: “We have come up with a very mature, sophisticated document which will give a long term strategy to a long term problem.

“The Prime Minister gave us the opportunity and we want to protect us so we are saying this is what it is going to cost and if you sign up it is something you are not going to look back on.”

The executive group who made the plan is South Somerset District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Somerset County Council, Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Board, Local Enterprise Partnership and the RSPB. Proposals were submitted by the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium (IDB), the Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT).

Mr Liddell-Grainger said he also hopes ministers will spread the word that Somerset is open for business because he said tourism has been hit, adding: “The reality is Somerset is open, it is just a small part that has water on it.”

Comments (8)

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1:43pm Wed 5 Mar 14

GreatOdin'sRaven says...

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “We were given six weeks to come up with a plan and this shows we have taken the challenge."

Odd, it almost sounds as if he wants some kind of pat on the back for managing to do his job.

I wonder if I'm the only person that expects this 'twenty-year plan' will be forgotten about once the current floods are out of the spotlight.
Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “We were given six weeks to come up with a plan and this shows we have taken the challenge." Odd, it almost sounds as if he wants some kind of pat on the back for managing to do his job. I wonder if I'm the only person that expects this 'twenty-year plan' will be forgotten about once the current floods are out of the spotlight. GreatOdin'sRaven
  • Score: 17

1:51pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Kellystad says...

Wow, £100m to protect 40 or so properties that were flooded in the worst winter rainfall in the South of England ever recorded. All in an area that people to chose to live in knowing that t is below sea level.
No wonder this country is broke.
Wow, £100m to protect 40 or so properties that were flooded in the worst winter rainfall in the South of England ever recorded. All in an area that people to chose to live in knowing that t is below sea level. No wonder this country is broke. Kellystad
  • Score: 3

3:50pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Reallycycle says...

I am happy that £100m is spent protecting 1000's of homes (there are more than 40 houses in Bridgwater at last count). Yes the levels are below sea level, but unless you moved there in the past few years, they had not flooded badly for over 100 years. So how can you blame anyone for moving there? They have as much right to have their homes protected as anyone else.
I am happy that £100m is spent protecting 1000's of homes (there are more than 40 houses in Bridgwater at last count). Yes the levels are below sea level, but unless you moved there in the past few years, they had not flooded badly for over 100 years. So how can you blame anyone for moving there? They have as much right to have their homes protected as anyone else. Reallycycle
  • Score: -1

7:08pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Samej1 says...

Kellystad wrote:
Wow, £100m to protect 40 or so properties that were flooded in the worst winter rainfall in the South of England ever recorded. All in an area that people to chose to live in knowing that t is below sea level.
No wonder this country is broke.
Just admit you haven't read the document, you'll sound far more credible...
[quote][p][bold]Kellystad[/bold] wrote: Wow, £100m to protect 40 or so properties that were flooded in the worst winter rainfall in the South of England ever recorded. All in an area that people to chose to live in knowing that t is below sea level. No wonder this country is broke.[/p][/quote]Just admit you haven't read the document, you'll sound far more credible... Samej1
  • Score: -1

8:16pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Dr Dave says...

Raising roads?? The A361 at the deepest part by the willow workshops would have to be raised some 6-7ft, this would be prohibitively expensive!
Raising roads?? The A361 at the deepest part by the willow workshops would have to be raised some 6-7ft, this would be prohibitively expensive! Dr Dave
  • Score: 4

11:08pm Wed 5 Mar 14

NDJMILLER says...

Hmm, a 20 year plan eh ? Sounds a lot like Owen Paterson's 25 year plan to eradicate bovine TB. In other words, a pie-in-the-sky idea which will quietly fade into history and be forgotten about in a few years time, especially when the people initiating it have vanished from the political radar and will disclaim all responsibility if it goes wrong.
Hmm, a 20 year plan eh ? Sounds a lot like Owen Paterson's 25 year plan to eradicate bovine TB. In other words, a pie-in-the-sky idea which will quietly fade into history and be forgotten about in a few years time, especially when the people initiating it have vanished from the political radar and will disclaim all responsibility if it goes wrong. NDJMILLER
  • Score: 1

9:47pm Thu 6 Mar 14

daddydave says...

sorry for the people who had their homes flooded, wish you all the best on your recovery.
but as usual we do not seem to be able to learn lessons from the past!!
iron age man 5000 years ago build bridges to travel across the Somerset levels (big clue). it was called the sweettrack.
Joseph of Arimathea 2000 years ago landed at Glastonbury by boat (bigger clue).
Somerset, name derived from old name of summer land.
nature has no respect for money.
nature will have its way.
sorry for the people who had their homes flooded, wish you all the best on your recovery. but as usual we do not seem to be able to learn lessons from the past!! iron age man 5000 years ago build bridges to travel across the Somerset levels (big clue). it was called the sweettrack. Joseph of Arimathea 2000 years ago landed at Glastonbury by boat (bigger clue). Somerset, name derived from old name of summer land. nature has no respect for money. nature will have its way. daddydave
  • Score: 2

9:56am Wed 12 Mar 14

feeby12007 says...

What about all the other properties in Somerset that are not on the floodplain but got flooded? The buildings that were actually built on ground that was not supposed to flood? Where's the protection funds for those? It seems unfair that money gets spent on trying to change the actual purpose of the floodplain and everyone elsewhere in Somerset are forgotten about. Council tax has gone up to fund the work at the levels but not to protect other properties elsewhere. Frustrating.
What about all the other properties in Somerset that are not on the floodplain but got flooded? The buildings that were actually built on ground that was not supposed to flood? Where's the protection funds for those? It seems unfair that money gets spent on trying to change the actual purpose of the floodplain and everyone elsewhere in Somerset are forgotten about. Council tax has gone up to fund the work at the levels but not to protect other properties elsewhere. Frustrating. feeby12007
  • Score: 1

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