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New drainage chief eyes budget battle

Incoming Association of Drainage Authorities chief executive Innes Thomson has pledged to fight the corner of flood defence asset protection.

Thomson takes over as chief executive of the organisation on 1 April, replacing Jean Venables, who has served 10 years at the helm.

A Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Innes joins the association direct from the Environment Agency.

He said: “We need to persuade and influence people and politicians of the need to protect and enhance our flood defence and water level management assets. 

“That investment enables the long-term protection of our rural environment, and we need to ensure that adequate budgets are allocated in order to achieve that.

“I will be working closely with colleagues and members, the government, the Environment Agency, the National Farmers Union, the Countryside and Landowners Association, local authorities and all other interested and key partners to identify how we can achieve this together.”

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