Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Save the Broads raised in Parliament

An MP today asked the Government for assurances it would continue funding sea defences which protect the Norfolk Broads.

But Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb said he was disappointed by its response to a parliamentary question.

The North Norfolk MP raised the issue during Prime Minister's Questions, which was taken by Commons Leader Harriet Harman.

He asked for assurances that defences protecting the Upper Thurne and its Broads would be maintained.

Last week, it emerged proposals to abandon defences had been discussed by Natural England, the Broads Authority and the Environment Agency.

If put into action, the plan would mean Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Martham broads would be flooded by the sea. Six villages and thousands of hectares of farmland would also be lost under the proposals.

But Ms Harman stopped short of giving any assurances. Instead, she said ministers were working to ensure "the right way forward".

Mr Lamb, who said he was disappointed at the response, is calling for Environment Minister Hilary Benn to visit Norfolk to see for himself the area which would be affected by the plan.

Nearly 600 people have signed a petition calling for defences to be maintained. Click here to join them.

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