asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that during the recent heavy rains the River Darenth, Kent, has been blocked by an accumulation of weeds and fallen trees and consequently the valley must flood; that the Darenth Valley main sewer was not built to take storm water; that there is ho conservancy board for this river; and will he cause inquiries to be made and consider what steps can be taken to remedy this state of things?
My attention has recently been called to this matter by the Darenth Valley Main Sewerage Board. The only power I have is to set up a drainage authority for the district on a petition either from the county council or from the riparian owners, and such a drainage authority could take action under the Land Drainage Acts to deal with the position of affairs to which my hon. Friend refers. I am communicating with the county council in the matter.