Diocese of Bath and Wells launches flood action plan

Water surrounds flooded properties in the village of Moorland on the Somerset Levels The Diocese of Bath and Wells said the church played a "vital role" in the relief effort when large parts of the Somerset Levels were affected by heavy flooding at the start of the year

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Church leaders have outlined plans on how to respond to future heavy flooding in Somerset.

The recommendations have been published by the Diocese of Bath and Wells in its report into the winter floods which badly affected the region earlier in the year.

Plans include an emergency fund, support for dredging and lobbying for more help from the government.

The diocese said the church played a "vital role" in the relief effort.

But it hopes the diocese and its churches can respond "more quickly and effectively" to the "devastating impact" of future flooding.

'Practical suggestions'

Bishop of Taunton Peter Maurice said the report offered practical suggestions as to how the diocese could help local churches which were "inundated with calls for help" during the last floods.

He said: "The churches responded extraordinarily well, but [in the event of future flooding] we want to help them relieve that pressure."

River Parrett dredging The Environment Agency is currently in the process of dredging the River Parrett which it hopes will be completed by the end of October

Large parts of the Somerset Levels spent much of the winter of under water after south-west of England was battered by high winds and heavy rain.

Dozens of roads were flooded and communities cut off.

The diocese report is based on first-hand accounts of people affected by the flooding.

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