Sunday, February 09, 2014

Ian Liddell-Grainger opposed a £20m flood alleviation scheme for Somerset

From the Bath Chronicle in November 2010:
West MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has called for a flood scheme planned for Somerset to be scrapped as part of spending cuts. 
He says the Environment Agency should immediately abandon plans to spend £20 million on buying and flooding farmland to create a new wetland in Steart, near Bridgwater, to comply with an EU directive. 
Revelations about the scheme have infuriated local people who claim it will leave properties more, rather than less, prone to flooding. 
Now Mr Liddell-Grainger, the Tory MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, says it should be consigned to the bin as part of Defra's £110 million cut in its flood defence capital budget. 
The MP says the Steart project was one example where the Environment Agency had been allowed to go "its own sweet way" without any public accountability. 
"Like Natural England, the agency has run totally out of control in recent years with its only mission, apparently, to spend more and more of taxpayers' money," he said.
It is hard to square these views with the Ian Liddell-Grainger, tribune of the people of the Somerset Levels, who has been on show in recent days.

No doubt you can argue over how the money is best spent, but it seems odd that he was so opposed to such a vulnerable part of his constituency being helped.

You suspect that for Liddell-Grainger flood defence means macho things like embankments and concrete. Well, they don't come cheap either - and why should we single out his constituency for special treatment in a country with such a long coastline?

As to Liddell-Grainger's language - the head of the Environment Agency is a "little git" and the MP has threatened to "stick his head down the loo" - let's just take it as proof that you can be high in the line of succession to the throne and still have no class.

Thanks to @spike_humphrey and @PeteOnTheA419 on Twitter.

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