On the day when Councillor Rob Hodkinson from Ramsbottom came down to visit Parliament I had two pieces of good news for Ramsbottom.
Firstly, since it was brought to my attention that farmers in Ramsbottom were being denied access to the Farming Recovery Flood because they are classed as being in Greater Manchester rather than Lancashire. I raised the problem directly with the Secretary of State at questions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last Thursday. Well, the good news is that yesterday the Farming Recovery Fund was extended to Greater Manchester so that all farmers in Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington will be able to claim.
Secondly, Sport England announced they are making a payment of £12,500 to the Ramsbottom Cricket Club to help them recover.
The budget was approved by a majority of 35 ( considerably more than the government’s notional majority of 12 ).
Today, the main attention will be on Prime Ministers’s Questions the final session before Easter. This is followed by the next chapter in the saga of HS2, a farcical piece of business where we have to explain to the EU what we are doing to converge our economy with the rest of the EU! Then there is a proposal to update the amount of taxpayers money given to the Opposition parties.
5 thoughts on “Ramsbottom Flooding Update”
I actually agree that Nuclear power should very much be part of a larger plan on energy, especially with some exciting advances in fission power too.
I also understand that Bury Council are currently exploring the possibility of being an green energy supplier through Solar and Wind power to sell power back to the national grid – all very welcome moves.
With the above in mind, and noting your preference for a nuclear approach to power, are you able to advise if there will be a veto available to Bury Council regarding the drilling for extraction of shale gases?
Whilst market forces do drive production levels my opinion would be that it would be sensible to subsidise companies that produce greener energies, encouraging the market to opt for a supplier that will do less damage to our environment.
Great work and great news on the funding for farmers David, it seems fair that all those affected by the flooding should be able to claim recovery funding equally, so well done! Good news for Ramsbottom Cricket Club too.
On a wider point, and now that there has been time for reflection on the floods; will this now signal a change of opinion from yourself regarding the wider issue of climate change?
I understand from your voting history in parliament that previously you’ve consistently voted for selling England’s state owned forests. Given the success of a greener flood defence plan in Pickering, Yorkshire this year, that included the planting of trees as part of a overall strategy, are you still in favour of selling our state owned forests, increasing the likelihood of floods?
Also I note you’ve generally voted against measures to prevent climate change and generally voted against financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods. After being able to see the effects of climate change first hand within your own constituency are we likely to be seeing a change in this voting pattern in the future?
I can assure you I have no intention of changing my view. Weather is completely different to climate. Incidentally, the privatisation of forests has got nothing to do with flooding. No one was suggesting the forests be cut down and as it happens I love trees and if the proposed policy had posed a major threat to forests I would not have supported it. Anyway, that was some years ago now and there are no changes being planned to the ownership of forests.
Many thanks for your honest response to some of the points raised. Whilst I will concede that weather and climate change are two separate topics, I don’t think it’s possible to deny the two are intrinsically linked, and more frequent extreme weather is just one consequence of climate change. I do accept that from time to time extreme weather will occur, but with the weight of evidence so far suggesting that weather of this type will become more frequent as a result of climate change would you not agree that it would be more prudent to adopt a policy of caution and look to prevent climate change and offer incentives for green renewable energies?
Regarding the privatisation of forests, does the recent infrastructure bill not mean that local government will no longer be able to protect land within their own boundaries from possible development, much in the same way that privatising the forests could have removed powers from the forestry commission?
I’m glad that you love trees, as so do I, and I believe (like the forestry commission) they are very necessary as part of a larger plan regarding flood defences. It’s now widely accepted that the terrain and under soil drainage of any given area is crucial in terms of how quickly rainwater is filtered in to surrounding rivers and streams. I’m concerned that this new bill will allow developers to build on land with little concern for flood planning and other environmental factors. Are you able to ease concern in anyway by detailing a mechanism where by should a local council object to any development plans on the basis of environmental factors, including flood defence planning they will be allowed a veto at all?
I personally think we should make more use of nuclear power which unlike say wind power produces energy all day and all year round. If enough people choose to use one of the new green energy supply companies the laws of supply and demand would lead to the production of more green energy. It is up to local Councils to prepare their own local plans setting out how they want to use land in their area. These locally developed plans should then be the basis of determining planning applications.
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