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Rutland MP raises impact of flooding with minister





Last weekend’s sunshine makes the devastating floods of the past few months seem like a distant memory, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns (Con).

However, for our farmers, the impact of the wettest winter on record is still felt daily.

Last week at my request the Flooding Minister, Robbie Moore MP, came to the Rutland Showground for productive and honest discussions with Rutland, Stamford and Leicestershire farmers, landowners and the NFU who were able to directly raise with the Minister priorities and concerns around flooding preparedness, resilience and responses, and wider questions around food security.

The flooding summit with Robbie Moore
The flooding summit with Robbie Moore

A priority for discussion was the Flood Recovery Fund, which I’ve raised at Prime Minister’s Questions and in one-to-one meetings with the Defra Secretary of State as Rutland was excluded from accessing its support. Robbie was clear that Government is currently reviewing the fund following my raising concerns, and I hope it will become more focused on damage to agricultural land. I look forward to hopefully good news by the end of the month, alongside my hopes for a Land Management Strategy - something I’ve been pushing on for years.

After the summit with farmers the Flooding Minister joined me in meeting residents in Tallington who have been horrendously affected by the awful weather over the last few months. Gareth and I are grateful to him for committing to reach out to some of the big stakeholders involved in the hope we can get flooding issues resolved in this village - there’s lots more to do on this.

As all of us know, the A1 has sub-standard junctions, dangerous crossovers and accident blackspots. Normally I’d agree there’s no such thing as a dangerous road, but in our stretch of the A1 that just isn’t the case. I drive the A1 on our school run, and since my election I’ve been doing all I can to make it safer for us all.

Down in Westminster, I constantly raise the need for urgent safety upgrades, and I am relieved to have secured another meeting with the Roads Minister to discuss the long-term safety improvements needed. There is however debate within our communities on whether the A1 improvements should focus on slip roads and crossovers, or on making the A1 three-lane motorway standard. So please tell me your views, no matter where you live, on how we can make the A1 safer via my short survey on my website.

Out and about in our communities I stopped by the amazing Inspire2Tri to celebrate two members who’d attended over 600 hours of classes and where I was put to the test with a challenging responsiveness test – Mary wouldn’t want me to share who won, so I won’t - but I will say it surprised us both!

In Essendine, I also met with the brilliant volunteers from the village’s Community Speed Watch Campaign who are working to crack down on speeding incidents and make our rural roads safer – thank you for all you’re doing.

In Uppingham, it was good to mark the start of Dementia Action Week with a fantastic awareness event hosted by Uppingham Rotary and Uppingham Surgery offering extensive guidance, advice and information about all the support readily available in Rutland for those living with dementia and their loved ones. My campaign to make us the first Dementia Friendly County in the country continues - do join in by visiting www.RutlandDementia.com

In other news, I last reported back to you following the Liberal Democrat council’s decision to close Catmose Sports Centre. Despite having promised during the local elections to save it (knowing full well at the time the extent of the subsidies), they have done little to nothing to deliver that promise. I’m now very disappointed to hear our communities and Catmose School have been given just four weeks’ notice. Unfortunately, I don’t have the power to force the council to change its mind, but over the past fortnight I have been meeting with some community groups which use Catmose and speaking to the school as I am doing all I can to support them to find alternative homes for their much-loved activities.



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