ENVIRONMENT Secretary Owen Paterson answered questions on the image of farming and flood defences during a visit to Stroud.

Mr Paterson met district and county councillors and residents at the Black Horse in Cranham on Friday.

He fielded questions about improving the image of farming and multi-agency cooperation and flood defences along the River Severn.

Stroud MP Neil Carmichael, who was also in attendance, has been working with local councillors and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to improve provision for those affected by flooding along the Severn Estuary.

Speaking after the visit Mr Carmichael said: "“I am delighted that we have secured funding to protect the Valleys and Vale from flooding.

"Now we must work to form a partnership of agencies to combat flooding in the long-term.”

A written parliamentary question to the Minister for Flooding, Daniel Rogerson, this week revealed that this financial year the Environment Agency will invest £380,000 in maintaining flood defences and structures on the Severn Estuary, along with a further £2 million being invested to repair flood defences and structures damaged during the winter floods.

Mr Rogerson also confirmed that the Severn Estuary flood risk management system has identified a need for £58million of funding over the next 100 years to maintain or improve flood defences along the river.