On Monday in the House of Commons, David Warburton, MP for Somerton and Frome delivered a speech during a critical debate on the new Environment Bill.
In contributing to the debate, David urged the government to include water management provision in the Environment Bill, to help put the Somerset Rivers Authority on a statutory footing, ensuring that the region never again experiences the devastating floods of 2013 and 2014.
Earlier this year, David introduced to Parliament his Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Bill, a private members’ bill designed to protect Somerset and other flood-prone regions from future flood disasters by securing permanent government funding to enable planning for long-term flood prevention measures. However, the Bill was defeated at the final stage in its passage through Parliament, brought down during its reading in the House of Lords.
David explained, “Although my Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Bill was stymied by the House of Lords, I’m determined that the government introduces its provisions for the Somerset Rivers Authority as soon as possible. Putting the SRA on a statutory footing, allowing it to plan ahead with confidence, is absolutely vital for Somerset, and will be a significant factor in protecting all of our region from future flood devastation.”
David continued, “I thank the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rebecca Pow, for her kindness, both in writing to me about the Somerset Rivers Authority and for her assistance in ensuring that the Government will continue to be active in supporting its vital work in Somerset. I will continue to work to make sure Somerset is forever safely protected against the kind of dreadful flooding we saw just a few years ago.”