Somerset Levels dredged 'as soon as it is practical', says PM David Cameron

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Somerset Levels dredged 'as soon as possible, says PM David Cameron Somerset Levels dredged 'as soon as possible, says PM David Cameron

PRIME Minister David Cameron says the Somerset Levels will be dredged 'as soon as it is practical'.

Mr Cameron made the announcement at Prime Minister's Questions in Westminster in reply to Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne's question over flooding across the county.

He said action would be taken once the flood water had receeded and that extra provision for pumping would be made available.

The Government's Cobra emergency committee will also meet this afternoon (January 29).

Both Mr Browne and MP David Heath attended today's meeting to speak on behalf of the thousands of people affected by flooding since the start of the year.

Somerset County Council leader John Osman said: “This is just what we wanted to hear from the PM.

"We have lobbied hard to get national attention, we are in a major incident due to the extent and length of time that much of the county is flooded.

“Now we have the PM behind us, people can start to believe that real action, dredging the rivers, sorting the drainage systems, protecting our communities will really happen. I am delighted to hear this.”

 

Comments (12)

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12:55pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Slow down! says...

Great Dave's on the case!

It's all just words and spin.
Great Dave's on the case! It's all just words and spin. Slow down!
  • Score: 5

2:46pm Wed 29 Jan 14

FreeSpeech? says...

Slow down! wrote:
Great Dave's on the case!

It's all just words and spin.
Of course it will mean that a full survey and wildlife impact paper being drawn up beforehand(2 yrs) only for it to be scuppered at the last minute by our faithful RSPB.
[quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: Great Dave's on the case! It's all just words and spin.[/p][/quote]Of course it will mean that a full survey and wildlife impact paper being drawn up beforehand(2 yrs) only for it to be scuppered at the last minute by our faithful RSPB. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 5

3:34pm Wed 29 Jan 14

St. Austell says...

We read that one faction states that dredging isn't the answer to the problem on the
Levels, we also read that a huge amount of money has been spent on a Bird
Sanctuary when dredging on the Levels was not deemed expedient and now we read
that Cameron says the Somerset Levels will be dredged 'as soon as it is practical' no
doubt only as a response to media coverage and possible loss of voters sympathetic
to his political party. So who, if any, does one believe? I guess nobody!
We read that one faction states that dredging isn't the answer to the problem on the Levels, we also read that a huge amount of money has been spent on a Bird Sanctuary when dredging on the Levels was not deemed expedient and now we read that Cameron says the Somerset Levels will be dredged 'as soon as it is practical' no doubt only as a response to media coverage and possible loss of voters sympathetic to his political party. So who, if any, does one believe? I guess nobody! St. Austell
  • Score: 7

6:38pm Wed 29 Jan 14

the voice of common sense says...

Question, if the rivers are dredged where will all the silt be stored, it can't be dumped at sea because, according to a local ex-Councillor, Europe says it is contaminated so can't be left anywhere. With nowhere to dump it we have a very difficult decision to make. Do we go ahead and dredge hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated silt out of the Parrett and Tone and stick two fingers up to Europe and do with it what we wish, or bow to Europe and do nothing in defiance of Daves' orders? what a conundrum!

Why wasn't fiddle stranger at the meeting with Dave? Did he think yesterday, well it's Tuesday, whats the point of going back to London for a couple of days before I have to come all the way back again so I might as well stay at home and make a long weekend out of it
Question, if the rivers are dredged where will all the silt be stored, it can't be dumped at sea because, according to a local ex-Councillor, Europe says it is contaminated so can't be left anywhere. With nowhere to dump it we have a very difficult decision to make. Do we go ahead and dredge hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated silt out of the Parrett and Tone and stick two fingers up to Europe and do with it what we wish, or bow to Europe and do nothing in defiance of Daves' orders? what a conundrum! Why wasn't fiddle stranger at the meeting with Dave? Did he think yesterday, well it's Tuesday, whats the point of going back to London for a couple of days before I have to come all the way back again so I might as well stay at home and make a long weekend out of it the voice of common sense
  • Score: 9

7:50pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Hugo101 says...

Any Tory who came down and did a pee in either river would get a round of applause from the people affected as they are all Tory voters.
The levels are below sea level and so why protect them with global warming - higher sea levels and more flash rain storms. Things are just going to get worse.
I am surprised that Dave 'Fracking' Cameron did not suggest dredging in summer and tracking in winter.

And I too wonder where Ian Fiddle-Grainger was; counting all his expenses!
Any Tory who came down and did a pee in either river would get a round of applause from the people affected as they are all Tory voters. The levels are below sea level and so why protect them with global warming - higher sea levels and more flash rain storms. Things are just going to get worse. I am surprised that Dave 'Fracking' Cameron did not suggest dredging in summer and tracking in winter. And I too wonder where Ian Fiddle-Grainger was; counting all his expenses! Hugo101
  • Score: 2

7:56pm Wed 29 Jan 14

sceptic_steve says...

The actual part of Moorland where the road is under water is not due initially to the Parrett flooding but the flooding of the rhyne just past the old school.

Now I can't recall whether it was 2 or 3 times but this rhyne was definitely ''dredged' at least on two occasions in the last 12 months, and the silt and mud was put on the banks to build them up. The raised bank separating the rhyne from the field that always floods first was increased a good 4 or more inches as a result. I know this because I was watching it whilst it was done.

Thank goodness it was done or the flooding in Moorland I can assure you would have been a heck of a lot worse than it actually is, and lord knows it is bad enough!

So whilst dredging all the various waterways obviously helps, I don't believe it to be 100 percent the answer. We need other options and solutions also to run along side a dredging programme.
The actual part of Moorland where the road is under water is not due initially to the Parrett flooding but the flooding of the rhyne just past the old school. Now I can't recall whether it was 2 or 3 times but this rhyne was definitely ''dredged' at least on two occasions in the last 12 months, and the silt and mud was put on the banks to build them up. The raised bank separating the rhyne from the field that always floods first was increased a good 4 or more inches as a result. I know this because I was watching it whilst it was done. Thank goodness it was done or the flooding in Moorland I can assure you would have been a heck of a lot worse than it actually is, and lord knows it is bad enough! So whilst dredging all the various waterways obviously helps, I don't believe it to be 100 percent the answer. We need other options and solutions also to run along side a dredging programme. sceptic_steve
  • Score: 6

12:44pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Mi_Coc says...

Silt gets dumped on the banks to make them higher. thats what lidell granger said!

What ever cameron does he wont bee popular he makes cuts and he gets slated. He says he will spend and he gets told its just spin.

I suspect those hwo slate him would prefer a government that spends money we dont have and goes bust like the greeks?
Silt gets dumped on the banks to make them higher. thats what lidell granger said! What ever cameron does he wont bee popular he makes cuts and he gets slated. He says he will spend and he gets told its just spin. I suspect those hwo slate him would prefer a government that spends money we dont have and goes bust like the greeks? Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Thu 30 Jan 14

tom norman says...

why not build a resouvior there like wimbleball as its a flood plain solve a lot of problems then, ,il get me coat
why not build a resouvior there like wimbleball as its a flood plain solve a lot of problems then, ,il get me coat tom norman
  • Score: 1

2:56pm 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
  • Score: -2

10:34am Sun 2 Feb 14

Anonone says...

Tom what a super idea for Year 1, or until it fills up. However, we have enough water to drink (mostly) so where would Year 2 's winter water go? I know, we could build some flood plains. No, wait a minute, that is what we have now. There may be some merit if the reservoir could be pumped empty out into the rivers during summer months ready for Year 2' s winter water. Is this indeed possible or would the silt fill up the reservoir with no means of dredging it.

There is more to this anyway. I guess a lot of the water that sits in the flood plains would have inundated Taunton and other more populated and commercial areas. A quick study of the Insurance industry maps - the ones used to calculate premiums - shows substantial areas of Taunton at risk.

The cost of flood damage and restitution in urban areas in monetary terms would be phenomenal - In political terms incalculable

Having been a resident of Taunton for 60 years I have witnessed the severe flooding in the town. The Blackbrook works (40 years ago?) solved the problem for southern Taunton but that water has to go somewhere and the moors seem first choice. Given my experience I would never consider buying a property in much of central Taunton. Additionally Bathpool, CSM, Ruishton, Norton, Cross Keys, Hillfarrance and Silk Mills have witnessed heavy flooding, sometimes annually during that period. Those who have purchased during that time should have known, or been made aware of, the risks.

A trip to the splendid Somerset Museum is enlightening. Coracles at the ready
Tom what a super idea for Year 1, or until it fills up. However, we have enough water to drink (mostly) so where would Year 2 's winter water go? I know, we could build some flood plains. No, wait a minute, that is what we have now. There may be some merit if the reservoir could be pumped empty out into the rivers during summer months ready for Year 2' s winter water. Is this indeed possible or would the silt fill up the reservoir with no means of dredging it. There is more to this anyway. I guess a lot of the water that sits in the flood plains would have inundated Taunton and other more populated and commercial areas. A quick study of the Insurance industry maps - the ones used to calculate premiums - shows substantial areas of Taunton at risk. The cost of flood damage and restitution in urban areas in monetary terms would be phenomenal - In political terms incalculable Having been a resident of Taunton for 60 years I have witnessed the severe flooding in the town. The Blackbrook works (40 years ago?) solved the problem for southern Taunton but that water has to go somewhere and the moors seem first choice. Given my experience I would never consider buying a property in much of central Taunton. Additionally Bathpool, CSM, Ruishton, Norton, Cross Keys, Hillfarrance and Silk Mills have witnessed heavy flooding, sometimes annually during that period. Those who have purchased during that time should have known, or been made aware of, the risks. A trip to the splendid Somerset Museum is enlightening. Coracles at the ready Anonone
  • Score: 0

10:38am Sun 2 Feb 14

Anonone says...

Tom what a super idea for Year 1, or until it fills up. However, we have enough water to drink (mostly) so where would Year 2 's winter water go? I know, we could build some flood plains. No, wait a minute, that is what we have now. There may be some merit if the reservoir could be pumped empty out into the rivers during summer months ready for Year 2' s winter water. Is this indeed possible or would the silt fill up the reservoir with no means of dredging it.

There is more to this anyway. I guess a lot of the water that currently sits in the flood plains would have inundated Taunton and other more populated and commercial areas. A quick study of the Insurance industry maps - the ones used to calculate premiums - shows substantial areas of Taunton historically at risk.

The cost of flood damage and restitution in urban areas in monetary terms would be phenomenal - in political terms incalculable

Having been a resident of Taunton for over 60 years I have witnessed the severe flooding in the town. The Blackbrook works (40 years ago?) solved the problem for southern Taunton but that water has to go somewhere and the moors seem first choice. Given my experience I would never consider buying a property in much of central Taunton. Additionally Bathpool, CSM, Ruishton, Norton, Cross Keys, Hillfarrance and Silk Mills have witnessed heavy flooding, sometimes annually during that period. Those who have purchased during that time should have known, or been made aware of, the risks. Some new residents in those areas have been shocked to find the size of their insurance premiums and in some cases a failure to secure cover

A trip to the splendid Somerset Museum is enlightening. Coracles at the ready
Tom what a super idea for Year 1, or until it fills up. However, we have enough water to drink (mostly) so where would Year 2 's winter water go? I know, we could build some flood plains. No, wait a minute, that is what we have now. There may be some merit if the reservoir could be pumped empty out into the rivers during summer months ready for Year 2' s winter water. Is this indeed possible or would the silt fill up the reservoir with no means of dredging it. There is more to this anyway. I guess a lot of the water that currently sits in the flood plains would have inundated Taunton and other more populated and commercial areas. A quick study of the Insurance industry maps - the ones used to calculate premiums - shows substantial areas of Taunton historically at risk. The cost of flood damage and restitution in urban areas in monetary terms would be phenomenal - in political terms incalculable Having been a resident of Taunton for over 60 years I have witnessed the severe flooding in the town. The Blackbrook works (40 years ago?) solved the problem for southern Taunton but that water has to go somewhere and the moors seem first choice. Given my experience I would never consider buying a property in much of central Taunton. Additionally Bathpool, CSM, Ruishton, Norton, Cross Keys, Hillfarrance and Silk Mills have witnessed heavy flooding, sometimes annually during that period. Those who have purchased during that time should have known, or been made aware of, the risks. Some new residents in those areas have been shocked to find the size of their insurance premiums and in some cases a failure to secure cover A trip to the splendid Somerset Museum is enlightening. Coracles at the ready Anonone
  • Score: 2

6:15am Wed 5 Feb 14

GoingGreen says...

FreeSpeech? wrote:
Slow down! wrote: Great Dave's on the case! It's all just words and spin.
Of course it will mean that a full survey and wildlife impact paper being drawn up beforehand(2 yrs) only for it to be scuppered at the last minute by our faithful RSPB.
Because humans are the super race and don't rely on a balanced ecosystem at all? Interesting.
[quote][p][bold]FreeSpeech?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: Great Dave's on the case! It's all just words and spin.[/p][/quote]Of course it will mean that a full survey and wildlife impact paper being drawn up beforehand(2 yrs) only for it to be scuppered at the last minute by our faithful RSPB.[/p][/quote]Because humans are the super race and don't rely on a balanced ecosystem at all? Interesting. GoingGreen
  • Score: -1

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