MP meets with Environment Agency and farmers to discuss flooding
Last week, Victoria Atkins MP held two community events at The Hub in Horncastle on Friday morning to bring together representatives from more than 50 local organisations that work to support people in our community.
After the Community Summit in which organisations from across the constituency invited to come together and highlight the support available for families and adults in the area, Ms Atkins further organised a meeting for local flood affected farmers to meet two representatives of the Environment Agency.
Representatives from local drainage boards, the National Farmers’ Union and East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) were also in attendance at the meeting, where farmers had the opportunity to have a frank and open conversation with the EA representatives – Leigh Edlin, Environment Agency Area Director for Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire and Adrian Clack, Lincolnshire Delivery Lead – about how recent flooding has affected their land.
A number of farmers raised significant concerns about how the Horncastle Flood Alleviation Scheme had worked during Storm Babet, and their concerns about communication and the importance of prioritising the
maintenance of watercourses.
A number of possible future action points were also discussed for how the agricultural community can support the Environment Agency’s efforts to reduce flooding in the future.
Rhonda Thompson, the Lincolnshire County Advisor for the NFU, said: “After seeing the devastation wrought by Storm Babet on farmland in the county, the NFU are appreciative of local MP, Victoria Atkins’ support on farm and in bringing about this important meeting with the EA.
"The meeting outcome was very positive and demonstrates that there is a need for a collaborative approach between the EA, Internal Drainage Boards and farmers and landowners going forward.
"This collaboration will help by agreeing some water storage and required maintenance going forward, all of which will prove invaluable as we face an increase in these types of weather events.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency is committed to finding out what happened with the operation of the Horncastle Flood Alleviation Scheme for future learning and our investigations continue while responding to ongoing flooding impacts.
“Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent floods, and we are committed to keeping the community informed.
"Environment Agency officers recently met with Victoria Atkins MP, farmers, National Farmers Union members, councillors and Internal Drainage Board representatives. We agreed to explore how we can work more closely together in the future.”
Victoria Atkins MP said: “I was pleased to be able to host both of these important events in Horncastle.
After listening to local farmers affected by recent flooding, I thought it was important to bring together members of our agricultural community with Environment Agency representatives.
"This was a productive meeting in which local farmers were able to share their concerns directly with the EA.
"Possible solutions were discussed and agreement reached about next steps to act on feedback received.
Our local farmers do fantastic work meeting the challenges presented by unpredictable weather all year round.
"I’m keen to support them in their efforts to become part of the solution for preventing and managing future floods.
“I’d like to thank everyone who helped to make both of these events such a success.”