Year after year flooding affects thousands of residents and businesses across the county, and farmers are no exception. Over recent years farmers have seen thousands of pounds worth of damage to their crops and their land completely underwater as they have been hit by floods.
Nicola brought the Environment Secretary, Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, to Oxford to visit Goosacre Farm and meet with members of the NFU and the Environment Agency to discuss a way forward on local flood defences and maintenance.
During the week of the annual Oxford Farming Conference, Nicola hosted the roundtable discussion giving farmers the crucial chance to discuss key issues facing them with the Minister. The event was held at Gooseacre Farm in Radley and was well attended by farmers, representatives from the NFU and the Environment Agency, and Cllr Rodney Rose, Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council.
Nicola has campaigned hard for the flood defences we so desperately need, and in December £42 million was announced for the Oxford and Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme which will protect homes and businesses from flooding. At the meeting, local farmers, representatives from the Environment Agency and from Oxfordshire County Council discussed the need for a joined-up approach to maintenance for flooding schemes, including drain and stream clearance to improve the flow of rivers.
Nicola has promised to drive this forward and ensure effective communication between key agencies, as more bad weather is forecast for Oxfordshire.
Nicola says, ‘It is vital that key stakeholders come together to discuss a coordinated approach in ensuring local waterways are properly maintained and farm land is protected. I will do whatever I can to keep up this momentum, working with the NFU, Environment Agency, County Council and landowners, to improve local flood resilience’.