Graham Stuart MP joins forces with Sir Greg Knight MP to tackle flooded farmlandFri 2nd July 2021
Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, chaired a further virtual meeting with local farmers and representatives from the Environment Agency (EA), East Riding Council (ERYC) and the National Farmers Union (NFU) to follow up on the discussion they had in April about flooded farmland. Graham was joined by Sir Greg Knight, Chairman of Hull River Board and a neighbouring MP, whose farmers are similarly affected.
The Environment Agency reported on the River Hull bathymetric Survey, which had highlighted a number of focus areas for more investigation and which will become the subject of bids for Government funding. Farmers welcomed the further opportunity to raise their continuing concerns and individual experiences, and to put questions to the EA.
It was concluded that once a clear proposal is put together, the group will be in a position to make a strong case to various private and public bodies to secure funding. Graham looks forward to chairing another follow up meeting in September to hear an update from the EA about their assessments, solutions and costings, so that next steps can be confirmed.
Graham said, “We had a really successful meeting and it is clear that a joint approach is the best way forward. I was delighted to be joined by Sir Greg and farmers in his constituency to help drive momentum on the importance of reducing the effects of flooding that local farmers have been experiencing for several years. I look forward to reconvening in September when I hope we can make real progress and solidify our next steps.”
Sir Greg said, “Clearly more needs to be done and Graham and I are keen to ensure that a coordinated approach is pursued so that all options to reduce flooding locally are properly examined.”
Paul Stockhill, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager at the EA, said “We were grateful to have the opportunity to share the findings from our survey of the River Hull. There are some locations we want to look into further, where we can see ‘humps’ in the river bed level. We will conduct further sampling, to establish if these are a result of silt build up, or natural features such as chalk and rock.
“We will continue to share the results of our findings in this forum, as we collectively gain a better understanding about this complex water network.
“It remains important to recognise the funding challenges faced in investing in low lying, drained areas like the upper River Hull. We welcome Graham’s work in helping bring together communities and partners, which will be crucial if any work is to be progressed.”
John Duggleby, who farms at Beswick, said, “I am very grateful for our two local MPs, Sir Greg Knight and Graham Stuart, being so supportive of our case for procuring extra funds from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – the upper Hull is in a desperate state.”
Graham and Sir Greg virtually meeting farmers, the Environment Agency, East Riding Council and National Farmers Union.