LEDBURY'S MP, Bill Wiggin questioned the Government this week about flood defences across rural areas.

Following the scenes in Somerset, Mr Wiggin questioned the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, when he made a statement to the House of Commons on Monday February 3.

Bill Wiggin, the Conservative member for North Herefordshire said: "Does my right Hon. Friend agree that the lessons that are coming out of the horror in Somerset are equally applicable across the whole country? Will he ensure that the Environment Agency starts to do the things that he has been talking about so well?

Mr Owen Paterson replied: "I stress again that this is a team effort. The Environment Agency has done a great job at protecting 1.1 million properties. However, it is quite clear from going around the counties of rural England, including Herefordshire and Berkshire, that there is exasperation at the lack of work on low-risk rural waterways, which stopped under the last Government. It is clear that that work is much better done by local people. It should be carried out by local landowners in co-operation with IDBs and local councils."