The Cray Forum is a fantastic platform for residents living in the Crays. Their community events are a real force for good, and I was delighted to join their junior branch at a litter pick, organised by the children of local schools, along the River Cray last month (pictured above).
It has therefore been very disappointing to recently have been made aware of the aggressive felling of vegetation the Environment Agency has carried out on the banks of the upper part of the river over the last few weeks. Neither the local community, nor local representatives, were consulted on this action before it took place, and I share the concerns residents have raised with me that this has potentially done considerable harm to the river habitat, which dedicated volunteers work so hard to maintain.
I have written in no uncertain terms to the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan, to make clear how unsatisfactory this situation is. I have also urged him to make a greater effort to engage with the communities within which the Agency operates, as well as the other organisations it works in parallel with, to mitigate highly regrettable incidents like this reoccurring in the future. I have attached a copy of the letter below.
If any residents are made aware of other similar activity in the area, please do let me know and I will take this up with the Environment Agency immediately.