Friday, 4 July 2008

NFU speaks out on Flooding

Farmers miss out on flooding fund

23 June 2008

Farmers and growers will not share in the EU flooding fund set up for damage caused by the flooding during summer 2007 despite suffering losses worth millions of pounds.

The EU Commission has announced 162.4 million euros from the European Solidarity Fund to help deal with the 'consequences of devastating floods' that hit the UK last summer.

However, the NFU is angered none of this money will find its way to helping farmers and growers who had homes ruined, crops destroyed and livestock put at risk. Vice President Paul Temple has spoken with farmers across the country who lost crops and suffered severe economic damage.

"Farmers and growers bore significant costs and disruption during last summer's floods with estimates of almost 50,000ha being flooded", he said.

"While the EU's announcement of 162m euros is obviously welcome for the nation as a whole, it again highlights the totally inadequate assistance made available to farmers and growers last summer.

"While farm businesses suffered losses of up to £250,000, help was limited to £2,500. Farmers are seeking recognition of the problems that occurred and are looking for local solutions to be found.

"We hope Sir Michael Pitt, in his report on the summer floods to be published on Wednesday (June 25), will recommend increased help following the flooding of last summer."

Watercourse maintenance key to effective flood risk management

24 June 2008

Good watercourse maintenance is vital in both flood risk and water level management and the Pitt Review must ensure adequate attention is paid to the issue says the NFU and the Association of Drainage Authorities.

Both the NFU and ADA made watercourse maintenance a key point of their submissions to the Pitt Review into last summer's floods, the report of which is due to be published tomorrow (Wednesday).

NFU Vice President Paul Temple said: "Inadequate maintenance is one of the key concerns of our members and is the reason why many of them suffered prolonged flooding, sometimes lasting several weeks, following the events of last summer. Efficient and suitable maintenance activities may not have prevented the exceptional flooding we saw but would certainly have reduced the impact in some areas and allowed many communities to recover much quicker. It is vital the Pitt Review considers the maintenance issues that arose following last summer's floods and recommends action is taken to deal with them."

Henry Cator, chairman of the ADA, added: "Recent years have seen a change of emphasis to strategy and warnings. Welcome though these are a better balance is needed between these important activities and the delivery of capital works and maintenance out in the field if we are to significantly reduce actual flood risk to people, their property, and the nation's infrastructure.

"In increasingly stormy and unpredictable climatic conditions, there is, in my view, unlikely to be any substitute for increased national expenditure on the whole range of activity we include in flood risk management - and maintenance is crucial. It seems to me there is a worrying lack of will to protect our national assets. We must do better than just 'give up' in this way."

For link to NFU website, see here:

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