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An open letter to Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP (with reply below)


OPEN LETTER to Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Cabinet Office

9 Downing Street

London, SW1A 2AG

30 December 2015


Re: National Flood Resilience Review

I note that the Environment Secretary has announced a Review to be chaired by you.

I wrote to the Prime Minister in March 2015 because I am concerned about the lack of designated Main River maintenance.

I had previously received a copy of a letter from the Environment Agency to Adam Afriyie MP which states We are by law granted permissive powers to carry out maintenance of main rivers using funding provided by government, but have no legal duty to do so.

I am very concerned that apparently nobody has a legal duty to maintain or improve the conveyance capacity of the designated main rivers or their backwaters. Consequently the Environment Agency disposed of Thames dredgers and the operators and closed the disposal facilities (without consultation) some twenty years ago after they took over from the National Rivers Authority.

I now find it incomprehensible that the EA can push on with their 302m - 3 new parallel channel project (the River Thames Scheme Datchet to Teddington) when they have failed to maximise the capacity of the existing land drainage infrastructure.

Please could you put the question as to why the Environment Agency has no legal duty to maintain or improve the conveyance capacity of designated main rivers?

In my opinion this is a national issue that needs an urgent political solution.

Yours sincerely



Ewan Larcombe

(NFPP Leader)

67 Lawn Close

Datchet SL3 9LA