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Farron calls on new Defra Secretary to fund Lyth valley drainage

May 24, 2010 12:00 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has appealed to new Defra Secretary of State, Caroline Spellman, to continue funding the flood drainage system at Lyth valley after the Environment Agency announced they would be switching off vital pumps.

The EA's decision could lead to a serious risk of flooding and cause untold damage for local businesses, farmers and the 2,500 residents who in live in an area much of which is some 15 feet above sea level.

Mr Farron has written to the Secretary of State to ask the EA to continue funding the pumps, which are essential to the local flood drainage system, or to come up with the money via another funding stream.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Lyth valley makes a valuable contribution to food production in our area as well as being home to some 2500 residents and a number of businesses

"Its madness for us to be allowning vital agricultural land to be lost to food production at a time when demand for food is growing across the world at a dramatic rate

"Local farmers, business people and residents of the valley have contacted me to express serious concerns regarding the Environment Agency's decision to switch off vital drainage pumps. There is real fear regarding potential losses to local businesses which, along with many domestic properties may also become un-insurable.

"This land is too valuable to be lost, which is why I've written to Caroline Spellman to ask her to ensure that the EA continue funding the essential pumping or find the money from elsewhere in Defra."