57. Mrs. Paton
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the considerable damage to homes and farms in the West Bridgford and other districts of Nottinghamshire, caused by the recent floods in the Trent Valley; who is the responsible authority; and what measures he proposes to take to prevent a recurrence of a similar disaster in the future.6W
Mr. I. Williams
I am aware of the damage caused by Hoods in the Trent Valley due to the unprecedented rainfall in the early part of last month. The drainage authority responsible for the maintenance of the river is the River Trent Catchment Board, who have prepared a comprehensive scheme for flood alleviation and control. For technical reasons, works for the improvement of the river must in general proceed upstream from Trent Falls Whilst considerable progress has been made by the board, the long distance involved, coupled with the suspension of land drainage operations during the war unless of direct benefit to food production, has prevented any substantial works of alleviation being undertaken in the West Bridgford district. The catchment board hope to be able to make better progress with their scheme as soon as more labour becomes available.
§ Mr. D. J. Williams
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that serious damage is caused to valuable agricultural land and livestock by the flooding of the river Neath in the county of Glamorgan; that an important contributory cause of this flooding is the tipping of colliery slag into the river; and if, in view of the need to encourage farmers to produce the maximum quantities of food, he will take steps to deal with the matter.
§ Mr. T. Williams
I am aware that the condition of the river Neath has been unsatisfactory for many years, although it has not been established to what extent colliery tips have been responsible for the siltation of the channel. The Mid-Glamorgan Rivers Catchment Board, which is the drainage authority responsible for the greater part of the river, has on a number of occasions carefully investigated the possibility of carrying out remedial works. I am advised that an effective scheme would at the present time cost about £ 75,000. The benefit to agriculture which would result from the work is insufficient to justify under present conditions an expenditure of this order, but the catchment board hopes to put forward proposals for a scheme as soon as circumstances permit.