’Flood management review needed urgently’

The organisation said it is vital the Government recognises the economic importance of agricultural land if we are we going to achieve food security – and ensures its budget is spent on flood protection across the board.

CLA Director South East Robin Edwards said: “The Government says it values food security but we are never going to maintain it if prime areas of agricultural land are at horrendous risk of flooding.

“In the current economic climate there is a need to cut public expenditure but Defra and the Environment Agency must review their priorities if we are to maintain and improve our ability to feed ourselves.

“The Government must also make it easier for landowners to maintain those defences the Environment Agency can no longer look after.

“In some cases individual landowners are willing to take on the responsibility for defences but they become frustrated by huge amount of red tape and cost involved.”

The CLA said the Government needs to look at Internal Drainage Boards which have a track record of managing flood risks efficiently and effectively.

Mr Edwards added: “They work because they are run by people with a direct interest in preventing flooding.

“They are a perfect example of local decision-making that works and we need more of them. The Government must do all it can to encourage their creation in areas where they do not already exist.”

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