Dear Letters Editor,

It has been argued that parts of the Somerset Levels, being below sea level, were bound to flood after such relentless rainfall.

Although many parts are below high tide level the area is crisscrossed by a number of rivers that naturally flow into the Severn estuary. River banks have been raised and in low lying areas pumping prevents localised flooding. There are also sluices which control the movement of water into the rivers and estuary. The estuary has one of the highest tidal 'rise and fall' in the world and the Levels being well above the low tide mark can be drained by gravity.

The situation is dependent on water management, the efficient use of the sluices and rivers that can flow freely. Any silting slows the rivers and is the primary cause of excessive rainfall not being able to escape.

At first sight it may seem that the lack of dredging has resulted from government cut backs, but on closer examination it appears that resources have been switched to less important projects. The real crux is that parts of the Somerset Levels have been sacrificed as a result of EU directives to promote biodiversity and the creation of inland lakes. This is reflected in a government policy document of which Policy 6 plays a key role.

There is also a problem in disposing of silt - made virtually impossible under EU bureaucracy and waste rules. The EU dictates that spoil has to be transported to landfill at enormous cost when it could be better used to build up river banks, as in the past, and other aspects of land reclamation.

Managing our own flood plains is yet another incentive to leave the EU. We should take "Independence now" and run our own Country. For this reason my party exists.

David Smith

Chairman of "An Independence Party" South West Region

Standing in ALL ENGLISH REGIONS on 22 May.

Better off out

0121 333 7737