Commenting on Defra Secretary Liz Truss’s speech today at the Oxford Farming Conference, CLA Director of Policy and Advice Christopher Price said:
“We welcome the sensible approach of aligning the Environment Agency and Natural England and support in principle the drive towards further de-centralisation of decision making to farmers and local communities.
“Around the country farmers and land managers provide a wealth of solutions to flooding. The CLA will continue to make the case for use of effective land management practices to ‘slow the flow’ of water and will play a full part in Defra’s review.
“Local partnerships such as Internal Drainage Boards also have a track record of managing flood risks efficiently and effectively. They, as well as groups such as the Cumbrian Floods Partnership, are a great example of local decision-making that works because they are run by local people with a direct interest in pragmatic solutions for flood prevention. We need more partnerships and services like this in flood-risk areas where they do not already exist.
“We will be asking Ministers for greater clarity on how they see the development of more partnerships like the Somerset Rivers Authority and the raising of money through local tax raising powers. These have to be deployed carefully and only on the basis of consent of local landowners and other businesses.”