Somerset floods: specialist ambulance team heads to Levels

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Muchelney has been cut off by floods for three weeks Muchelney has been cut off by floods for three weeks

SOUTH Western Ambulance Service has sent members of its Hazardous Area Response Team to the Somerset Levels to check on the welfare of vulnerable people stranded by the floods.

In conjunction with Avon and Somerset Police and the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, the ambulance service’s HART team, which is specially trained and equipped for quick water access, will be manning a boat and visiting 77 houses in the worst affected areas.

Derek McCullough, East Somerset operational locality manager for the ambulance service, said: “You have to feel for the residents who have been affected by the floods. Our main concern is making sure those who are affected have all their medical provisions and the HART team will be on hand to offer medical advice and treatment if this is needed.”

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2:51pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Somerset:SocialistParty says...

A member of the Somerset branch of the Socialist Party writes:

Somerset residents need fully-funded environmental planning

Residents in Somerset still find their homes underwater four weeks after the initial floods. Villages on the Somerset Levels have been most affected, and while communities expect some flooding in these areas, the affect of government cuts and climate change have meant these "once in a hundred years events" are happening every year.

This week Owen Patterson, the Tory environment secretary, visited Somerset to witness the damage himself. He left without speaking to any residents and has also made misleading statements, saying that the Coalition has spent more money on flood prevention than the previous Labour government. This is untrue.

One reason why this year's flooding has been so severe is because the river Parrett, where the flood water is supposed to drain into, has not been dredged. This is obviously due to the huge cuts to the Environment Agency - reportedly up to 40%. What makes this worse is that these dangers were already highlighted in a previous flooding plan written last year. The Con-Dem coalition has ignored this, and the wider concern about flooding, in favour of their austerity agenda. This is madness when put in the context of climate change.

Somerset residents don't need vacuous statements from visiting ministers or Princes. We need fully-funded environmental planning, which can try to mitigate the problems of climate change, not exacerbate them. However, all the three main parties support cuts; to the Environment Agency as well as the NHS, education and councils. We need a new party that not only provides funding for environmental planning, but also uses a socialist plan of production to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions and pollution in order to reduce climate change.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
A member of the Somerset branch of the Socialist Party writes: Somerset residents need fully-funded environmental planning Residents in Somerset still find their homes underwater four weeks after the initial floods. Villages on the Somerset Levels have been most affected, and while communities expect some flooding in these areas, the affect of government cuts and climate change have meant these "once in a hundred years events" are happening every year. This week Owen Patterson, the Tory environment secretary, visited Somerset to witness the damage himself. He left without speaking to any residents and has also made misleading statements, saying that the Coalition has spent more money on flood prevention than the previous Labour government. This is untrue. One reason why this year's flooding has been so severe is because the river Parrett, where the flood water is supposed to drain into, has not been dredged. This is obviously due to the huge cuts to the Environment Agency - reportedly up to 40%. What makes this worse is that these dangers were already highlighted in a previous flooding plan written last year. The Con-Dem coalition has ignored this, and the wider concern about flooding, in favour of their austerity agenda. This is madness when put in the context of climate change. Somerset residents don't need vacuous statements from visiting ministers or Princes. We need fully-funded environmental planning, which can try to mitigate the problems of climate change, not exacerbate them. However, all the three main parties support cuts; to the Environment Agency as well as the NHS, education and councils. We need a new party that not only provides funding for environmental planning, but also uses a socialist plan of production to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions and pollution in order to reduce climate change. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset:SocialistParty
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