During a statement on flooding in the House of Commons Neil Parish MP presses the Secretary of State on dredging of rivers to protect wildlife and farmland from flooding.
Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): The flooding on the Somerset levels during the past six weeks has destroyed homes, farmland and wildlife habitat, and I welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to look into dredging. For 20 years, successive Governments have not done so, and have not dealt with the problem.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr Eric Pickles): My hon. Friend has been a powerful advocate of dredging, and that was the principal reason why I felt it was appropriate to apologise to the people of Somerset for us ignoring their views. As hon. Members on both sides of the House have pointed out, however, there is no single solution that fits everywhere. Dredging there would be a sensible thing to do, for example, but dredging on the River Kennet would not be sensible. We are therefore looking for bespoke solutions in particular areas.
Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 10 February 2014, c579)