Julian Proposes National Farming Fund Could Be Used Towards Preventing Future Floods
February 24, 2014
Mr Sturdy recently enquired whether alternative sources of funding could be used to tackle the problem of flooding.
In the Chamber last week, the York MP asked “With parts of the country experiencing the wettest January since records began, with sadly no let-up in sight at the moment, will the Minister clarify whether resources from the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS) can be used to fund vital ditch-clearing and watercourse maintenance, which are absolutely essential for rural communities if they are to tackle flooding?”
The Environment Minister, Dan Rogerson, responded by saying “the Government have announced a £10 million fund to help farmers with the cost of recovering from flooding. We can look at how the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme might impact on those affected by flooding, but its primary purpose is to promote the long-term competitiveness of farming.”
Again, Mr Sturdy said he was “somewhat disappointed” with the Government’s response. He commented that “the Minister states that the FFI Scheme’s use should be to promote long-term competitiveness in farming. Well, the farmers’ whose land is still underwater are not going to be very competitive are they?”
“It is essential that every potential source of funding should be used towards alleviating the risk of flooding. I will be consulting with local farming organisations to work out the best possible way to protect rural areas around York and I will be writing to press the Minister on this point in due course”.