Sutton Bridge MP backs flood defence cash for farm land

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Sutton Bridge MP John Hayes is backing farmers who are fighting to protect people, homes, jobs and highly productive arable land from the threat of devastating floods.

Most Government cash for sea defences is focused on areas with big populations.

But the relatively sparsely populated land around The Wash – which grows around one-third of this country’s potato, salad and vegetable crops – relies heavily on farmers to maintain the sea defences.

The wider geographical boundary known as The Fens Strategic Area is home to agricultural and food firms that are worth more than £3billion to the national economy.

The Country Land Owners Association (CLA) is supporting The Wash Frontagers’ Group in its call for a strategic approach to flood defences – with more Government help and less red tape to get things moving.

And Mr Hayes said: “The EA (Environment Agency) have got to realise that farmers have always played a key role in flood defence and drainage work and our drainage boards are a model of effectiveness in terms of the community working to protect our area from the risk of flooding.”

Mr Hayes is writing to Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss and the EA to tell them The Wash sea defences must be preserved “particularly as the Government is willing to make more money available for flood defences.”