Why river dredging is a necessity not a luxury

From: J Sutcliffe, Weel Road, Tickton.

JOHN Dickinson’s masterclass in informed letter writing (Yorkshire Post, February 12) hits the nail squarely on the head.

I wrote to Paul Leinster, overall head of the Environment Agency, about the need for dredging the river Hull and received a reply from one of his managers that he had passed my letter onto to answer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Essentially the reply was: “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.”

I derived great comfort from knowing that a higher intelligence was on the case and am now feeling much better.

The aptly named manager, a Mr Dangerfield, described the task of dredging as “relatively expensive” and if I wasn’t feeling so much better I’d reply, relative to what?

To human/animal misery, to the huge cost to local businesses, to the on-going insurance fiasco, or relative to the Environment Agency’s policy of long term neglect and short term fixes?

Within a well equipped and staffed agency, albeit strapped for cash as we all are, the “expense” of performing what should still be its core business is notional at best.

It’s not that they can’t survey and dredge the river; of course they can. But maintaining a river and its systems is a long term task that does not always give immediate benefits... until it rains.

Mr Dangerfield’s comment “wholesale dredging does not justify the cost” simply exposes a lack of will inside a directionless ostrich of an organisation, busy doing the minimum and ignoring the fact that the waterways in its charge were designed and engineered to receive regular maintenance and are manifestly disintegrating without it.