TAUNTON Deane MP, Rebecca Pow welcomed a packed room to her latest Environment Forum at Stoke St Mary Village Hall.

The topic under discussion was: 'The Future of Flood Protection', with guest speaker Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton and chairman of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee.

Rebecca is also a member of this committee, which has just released the recommendations of its inquiry into flood protection.

Speaking after the event, Mr Parish said: "It was a very good meeting.

"Lots of people came to listen but also to provide us with some very good questions and ideas about how to deal with floods in the future and it was very good to come and support Rebecca who is an excellent member of the Select Committee."

Among the audience were farmers, parish councillors, flood victims, as well as representatives from the Marine Conservation Society, the Environment Agency, the NFU, Somerset Rivers Authority, National Trust and FWAG South West.

Ms Pow said: "This was my second environment forum and I was delighted that it seemed to strike a chord with so many people who came together to share ideas about how we might tackle future flooding.

"There was a general consensus that a much more holistic approach needs to be taken involving managing water across the whole catchment area and within housing developments.

"This also turned out to be a valuable networking opportunity for all those who attended.”