Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:07 pm on 8th February 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay 2:07 pm, 8th February 2019

I will keep my remarks fairly brief; I have no intention of taking the debate towards 2.30 pm, because the Bill is very welcome and will make a difference to many communities.

It is ironic that since I was elected to this House I have ended up spending quite a lot of time talking drainage. It has mostly been about the joys of the Middle Level Act 2018—yes, it is now an Act, and I see some fellow travellers on that journey present in the Chamber today, including my hon. Friends the Members for Mid Dorset and North Poole (Michael Tomlinson) and for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton), both of whom heard my various reflections on how to modernise the regulation of that system.

This Bill also makes sense. Having a proper rivers authority and proper authorities maintaining waterways is about not only the obvious benefits for drainage, but leisure facilities and making sure a river is accessible. The middle level itself is a massive drainage ditch that has become a leisure resource that many people want to use.