MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay says the Caldicot and Wentlooge Internal Drainage Board must be retained after a proposed merger was announced.

Mr Ramsay said the role of the Caldicot and Wentlooge Internal Drainage Board is vital in protecting the lives, land and property of the Gwent Levels and is opposing a proposal to merge the board with the Environment Agency, Countryside Council and Forestry Commission.

He said: "Without their expertise, valuable agricultural, commercial and residential land would be flooded on an annual basis.

"The Gwent Levels have a fascinating history. There is evidence to show that the Romans occupied the area and created man made defences to tackle the tides."

Further improvements were made by the Normans before the Crown took possession of the lands in the fifteenth century. Then followed a long period of neglect, culminating in the defences being finally overcome during the great flood of 1606."