Farmers invited to have say on flood management

MPs have invited farmers to have their say on the government’s approach to flood-risk management.

An inquiry scrutinising the effectiveness of flood-risk management was launched by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday (4 March).

See also: Opinion: What government must do to help flood-hit farmers

Over the coming weeks, the committee will hear evidence from a range of independent experts, affected communities, farmers and government officials.

Building on the lessons learned from this winter’s severe weather, they aim to probe the effectiveness of existing approaches to managing flood risk.

MPs will question the level of government investment, community involvement in decision making, and natural flood management measures.

The committee will also investigate the role of insurance and planning policy in protecting businesses and property from flooding.

Committee chairman Neil Parish said recent extreme weather had wrought devastating damage on peoples’ homes, livelihoods and health.

“Our climate is changing rapidly, and we need to prepare ourselves for what could be a turbulent new normal,” he said.

“That’s why it’s crucial that the government’s approach to managing flood risk holds up to scrutiny.”

Long-term policies

The new parliament was an opportunity for long-term policies which would take people’s concerns into account when protecting them from the effects of severe weather, said Mr Parish.

“As the last month has shown us, this isn’t a problem that’s going to go away.

“Our communities need the necessary support to adapt, so that in the future , those who remain at risk will be better prepared.”

The inquiry is accepting evidence until Friday, 17 April. For further details, and to make a submission, visit the parliamentary committee website.

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