Cumbria Crack
Letters to Editor

Unless we leave the EU with a clean break environmental regulation will continue

Philip Walling

Dear Editor

I’m the Brexit Party PPC for Workington.

Your recent article about government money for flood protection doesn’t mention Cockermouth, neither does it say how the government intends to get round the European Water Framework Directive which regulates dredging and the disposal of gravel dredged out of the river bed.

Unless we leave the EU with a clean break this environmental regulation will, I believe, continue to apply.

The principal reason for the exceptional floods in Cockermouth was the almost complete cessation of the dredging that had gone on for centuries.

While the Environment Agency is not prevented by the EU from dredging, it abandoned dredging, giving various excuses such as not harming creatures that live in the river bed (mussels and crayfish) or letting the river ‘reconnect’ with its flood plain (ie flood across surrounding farmland) to slow the flow of water.

But it is manifestly not better to cease dredging otherwise the floods would not have been so severe. The best way to prevent flooding is to make the course of the river wide and deep enough to take whatever water flows into it and get it back into the sea as quickly as possible.

If this new splurge of money by a lame duck government does not include dredging and embanking it will be a meaningless gesture, more intended to solicit votes than do any good for the people who need it.

Yours

Philip Walling

PPC for the Brexit Party for Workington

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