With reports that new and improved permanent flood defences to protect Carlisle are at least 14 months away, meaning that the city will face two more winters of being at risk, the dredging of riverbeds should be under serious consideration.
As members of the European Union, the UK Environment Agency are all but forbidden from dredging rivers under the European Water Framework Directive and this has resulted in waterways becoming choked up as water struggles to make its way downstream.
Thankfully, last month we voted to leave the European Union. However the process to leave is likely to take two or even three years to conclude. With our exit confirmed by the democratic will of the majority of voters, I see no harm in freeing the Environment Agency from the shackles of this directive now so we can get on with preventing floods before they can happen by keeping our waterways clear.
As the saying goes, prevention is cheaper than the cure.
Paul Nuttall MEP