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Lifeline for Lyth Valley as minister agrees that pumps should continue for now

June 27, 2012 10:06 AM

TF ruralA team from South Lakeland met with Defra minister Richard Benyon to ask for his support for the continued drainage of the Lyth Valley.

MP Tim Farron asked the minister to support the retention of the pumps which protect homes and farm land from flooding. The Environment Agency had given notice that the pumps would be switched off soon if there was no local scheme set up to pay for them.

Local residents have rejected plans that would lead to householders throughout the south and west of South Lakeland picking up the bill for a new drainage board, and Tim explained to the Minister that it would be unacceptable for residents to be forced to pay higher council tax bills. The minister accepted this and promised to continue working with Tim and local campaigners to ensure that a solution is found to this problem.

Tim was pleased to hear the Minister say that he wanted the Environment Agency to continue to pay to pump the valley whilst new plans are drawn up for a long term solution.

Tim was joined by Jim Bland, John Holmes and Richard Geldard who have been working to put together the Independent Drainage Board for the Lyth Valley.

Commenting Tim said: "It was a constructive meeting and I'm grateful to the minister for understanding the importance of keeping the Lyth Valley drained to protect homes and farm land.

"I'm also grateful that he accepts that local residents shouldn't be forced to pay for this, and that he has agreed to be flexible in keeping the pumps going while alternative solutions are drawn up. I was really pleased that Jim, John and Richard came along to help make the case "