This is a copy of an email from GOBA.
I am sure you will have read in the press or are otherwise aware that the Government Department DEFRA is cutting grant-in-aid (money!) to both the Environment Agency and British Waterways. The reason behind this chaotic decision is the complete mess made of the single farm payment scheme (The new CAP regime to cut down on over production of food). While the rest of Europe used a payment of acreages based on local or OS maps, DEFRA with Mrs Beckett at the helm decided to remove the width of hedges and conducted vastly expensive surveys over the whole of England resulting in huge delays to the payment and a consequent fine from the EU for failing to meet the deadline. Scotland which has its own ministry paid on time and avoided a fine. Mrs Becket then of course departed with a ‘promotion’ leaving DEFRA to pass the buck on to organisations such as EA and BW who rely heavily on grant-in-aid and with subsequent major cuts to their income.
I have written to my MP but am still waiting for a response !