LiveSOMERSET FLOODING: David Cameron announces details of flood support packages

First published in News
Last updated

This live event has finished

Summary

  • Dredging to begin by end of March.
  • Rivers Tone and Parrett to be de-silted.

5:36pm

SOMERSET County Council would like to remind drivers that the road through Long Load remains closed due to flooding.

It was announced yesterday that the bridge in the village had been given the all clear after an inspection by military divers.

However, although the bridge is clear to reopen, the road remains submerged under 900ml of flowing water in places and is still closed to vehicles.

The Tactical Multi Agency team, including representatives of the emergency services, Environment Agency and Highways, are monitoring the situation and will reopen the road as soon it is safe to do so once the floodwater has receded.

5:26pm

SOMERSET Churches Together has issued this response to the flooding in the county:

"We, the church leaders of Somerset, are thankful to the many people who have helped the people of the flooded areas of our county to endure the flooding. 

These floods have shown the resilience of the communities of the Levels and the Moors. 

The support of the wider farming community across the whole country has been heartening.

We wish to acknowledge those from many agencies who have worked so hard to help and support the local communities.

Flooding in the low lying areas of our county cannot be avoided.  The recent flooding has resulted from unprecedented rainfall.  

However the floods do not need to last as long as these have.

We believe any solutions must be based on acknowledgement that the river systems in which these problems have occurred cover most of the county of Somerset and some of Dorset.

These rivers and their catchments cannot be treated piecemeal.  Rural and urban are interdependent.

We believe that there needs to be two areas in which long term integrated measures are taken:

First, in the areas upstream of the flooded areas steps must be taken to slow down water flows. Policy makers must examine present policies for planning, crop management, drainage of both fields and housing. For example, steps could be taken to encourage tree planting  and to manage periods where crop harvests lead to areas of bare earth. New building schemes should as far as possible absorb into the ground the water that falls on them.
Second, downstream of the floods steps must be taken to increase flow capacities of rivers. Current plans for increased house and industrial building must be re-examined to ensure that they do not increase the pressure on the rivers. Restoring the flow capacities of the rivers by dredging must be done in a planned for and sustained way.

We question some of the assumptions which have limited past work. 

Financial formulae determined at national level need to be re-examined to allow local situations to be taken into account. 

The flooded land may be considered by some to be of low economic value. We wish it to be acknowledged that simple measures of economic value may not be entirely relevant when food production is involved. 

We may not live by bread alone, but food is essential and the land and communities that produce it need to be nurtured.  

Both food production and the lives and livelihoods and quality of lives of people should be the concern of all of us.

We therefore call on the government to ensure that an integrated policy for the management of the water courses of Somerset be developed which involves all stakeholders and acknowledges local conditions and needs.

In the meantime we commit our local churches to continue to help and assist all in need."

5:23pm

5:20pm

4:49pm

4:44pm

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: David Cameron is off to the north of England on the campaign trail

DETAILS of new funding schemes for homeowners and businesses in floods hit areas have been announced today (Thursday) by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The schemes were launched last week by the Prime Minister as part of a comprehensive package to help homeowners and businesses in flood affected areas get back on their feet and make their properties more resilient to flooding in the future.

Support for businesses.

  • Businesses that have been flooded since December 2013 will qualify for 100% business rate relief for three months, regardless of how long they were flooded.
  • Government will guarantee to reimburse councils’ costs of providing 100% rate relief, enabling local authorities to start providing this relief immediately.
  • The initial funding allocations to councils in flood affected areas from the new £10million Business Support Scheme have also been set out today.
  • These funding allocations will enable councils to start identifying affected businesses straight away and provide emergency hardship funding.
  • Business Support Scheme funding is being provided on top of business rate relief, and allows local councils to help both flooded businesses and those who have been indirectly affected through loss of trade, for example by being cut off.

Help for homeowners.

  • As announced by the Prime Minister yesterday, the Government will provide up to £4million to councils to help provide people whose properties are flooded with a council tax rebate of at least three months.
  • This funding guarantee to local authorities means that they can start providing this council tax relief immediately.
  • The new Repair and Renewal Grants will go live from April 1 and will provide financial support for households and businesses to contribute to work that improves a property’s ability to withstand future flooding.
  • Grants of up to £5,000 will be paid to flooded homeowners and businesses, once a survey to identify appropriate resilience measures has been completed.  The cost of the survey is part of the grant.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This Government is continuing to take decisive action across the board to help hard-working people affected by the floods.

“We have led the immediate response through COBRA, and put in place a range of measures to help people in the longer-term.

“Today I am publishing details of how homeowners and businesses can access a range of new funding schemes which I announced over the last week. 

“We are helping people who need help now and protecting communities who need protecting in the future.”

Details of the £10million fund for farmers to help restore their waterlogged land will be announced shortly.

4:36pm

4:35pm

2:00pm

11:49am

MIGRATION advisors have seen a surge in enquiries from West Country residents looking to move down under following the recent catastrophic floods.

Paul Arthur, director of The Emigration Group said: “We've seen a big jump in enquiries from the West Country with Brits looking to escape the horrible weather by emigrating down under.

"The economies in Australia and New Zealand are booming and there's literally thousands of job opportunities for Brits who are looking to emigrate. 

"Areas where there are particular skills shortage are in construction, engineering, healthcare and IT, but there are hundreds of occupations in demand down under."

"We are predicting that thousands of local people will leave the UK for a new life down under. 

"Factors such as better weather, lifestyle, affordable housing and great job opportunities are an irresistible lure for Brits who maybe struggling here."

For more information and advice on migrating down under The Emigration Group is holding a seminar at the Hilton in Bristol on February 23. 

To book a place or to find out more about emigrating call 01244-321414 or visit www.emigrationgroup.co.uk

11:41am

THE Prime Minister was told that once the floods have gone, damaged roads will have to be repaired as quickly as possible.

Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne made the observation to David Cameron during his visit to the Somerset Flooding Summit in Bridgwater yesterday (Wednesday), which was attended by other MPs and council representatives from across the county.

Mr Browne said: “This was an ideal opportunity to raise the problems facing Somerset residents directly with the Prime Minister.

“A wider number of issues were discussed. These included the practicalities of pumping more water away, insurance cover for the victims of flooding, and the measures that can be taken to reduce the threat from flooding in the future.

“It is good that Somerset politicians are putting on a united front to tackle the flooding. The Prime Minister could see that we are working together to help local residents.

“I raised with the Prime Minister the need to mend Somerset's roads once the flood water has receded.

"Many people have been severely inconvenienced by the flood water making it harder for them to get to work or take their children to school. Once the water has gone it is essential that the damaged roads are repaired as quickly as possible.”

11:40am

THE Environment Agency has just released an official statement saying dredging will begin at the end of March.

Dredging will take place on 8km of river channel where the Tone and Parrett meet at Burrowbridge. Work will start on a 200 metre long stretch of the Parrett north of Coates Farm.

It will start provided water levels drop and land is dry enough.

Floods minister Dan Rogerson said: “Today marks a crucial step forwards in ensuring local communities around the Somerset Levels are better protected from the devastating impact of floods.

“We know those affected are tired and fed-up but I can assure them we are working around the clock to clear the flood water so they can get on with their lives.

“We are also looking to the long term, and I will be chairing the next meeting of the local senior leadership group soon. We are working to agree a plan which will make communities on the levels and moors safer and protect the priceless local environment”

Paul Leinster, chief executive at the Environment Agency, added: “We plan to start dredging by the end of March, as long as the contractors deem it is safe to do so. 

"We are committed to dredging as part of a broader package of work to protect people, property and land in Somerset.”

11:35am

11:34am

11:24am

A MINI festival of bands in Taunton will raise money for victims of the flooding on the Somerset Levels.

Headline act Filtra decided to call on other acts to donate to the cause as they have spent the past two weekends recording in a studio overlooking the Levels.

Other bands at the event at the Apple and Parrot from 7.30pm on Saturday (February 22) include Crow Dawn, Blue Room Baboons and special acoustic guests.

All fees and collections will be donated to the flood cause.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

10:24am

10:24am

10:22am

PEOPLE in a Somerset community will be cheered by the announcement that a road bridge closed due to flooding is set to be reopened after military divers gave the all clear.

Long Load bridge was closed after a police officer standing on the bridge reported safety concerns.

The road leading to the bridge is also flooded making it totally inaccessible and in effect cutting off homes and businesses from communities.

Now, Royal Engineer divers with Somerset County Council experts have inspected the bridge under the fast-flowing waters and found no significant issues.

A tree trunk has been wedged under the span which will need to be cleared once the waters have receded – but other than that the bridge was found to be structurally safe.

“This is a great relief,” said council cabinet member Cllr David Hall.

“The closure has caused the local community enormous disruption, long journeys and put the village shop at risk.

“Once we can get the road approaching the bridge back open, then life for these communities can start to get back to normal.”

10:18am

THE Environment Agency also plans to dredge the Rivers Tone and Parrett at Moorland House Farm.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the proposals should write to Graham Quarrier, of Manley House, Kestrel Way, Exeter EX2 7LQ.

10:16am

THE move to dredge the two rivers follows a pledge from Prime Minister David Cameron after one of three visits he has made to Somerset during the flooding crisis.

The Environment Agency has been heavily criticised for not dredging for a number of years.

But agency boss Lord Smith, who was given a rough reception by locals when he visited the area recently, says the orgsanisation had insufficient funds from the Government.

People living on the Somerset Levels have called for dredging for a number of years.

10:13am

THE Environment Agency has officially given notice that it proposes to dredge the Rivers Tone and Parrett following the devastating flooding on the Somerset Levels.

The Government organisation has placed a public notice in today's Somerset County Gazette outlining plans to "carry out improvement works related to flood defence on the River Tone in Somerset between Curload and Burrowbridge and on the River Parrett between Burrowbridge and Andersea".

The dredging of the channel will provide increased storage and flow in the main rivers and increase discharge of flood waters from the Moors.

The work will include excavation from the bank and cutter suction techniques and the silt removed will be spread on adjacent land where possible or removed for disposal.

The notice says: "The EA has determined that the works are likely to have significant effects on the environment and intends to prepare an environmental statement in respect of them."

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:27am Thu 20 Feb 14

Hollow Willow says...

Well, well so common sense has at last prevailed; pity it has taken a catastrophe to force the Environment Agency to do what they are paid to do.
Well, well so common sense has at last prevailed; pity it has taken a catastrophe to force the Environment Agency to do what they are paid to do. Hollow Willow
  • Score: 1

10:44am Thu 20 Feb 14

Samej1 says...

Rumour has it this is the limited dredging that was in the plans from last year, not extensive dredging - spinning again I fear.
Rumour has it this is the limited dredging that was in the plans from last year, not extensive dredging - spinning again I fear. Samej1
  • Score: 12

1:22pm Thu 20 Feb 14

MR.GOF says...

waste of time,what will happen when we have a high tide`s and then lots of rain,the tone backing up again,water overflowing back into the fields again,great!.
i know open, or have gates up at dunball to let out the water of sedgemoor drain when the tide goes out then to bring the water level down and stop this backing up,how hard can this be?
waste of time,what will happen when we have a high tide`s and then lots of rain,the tone backing up again,water overflowing back into the fields again,great!. i know open, or have gates up at dunball to let out the water of sedgemoor drain when the tide goes out then to bring the water level down and stop this backing up,how hard can this be? MR.GOF
  • Score: 9

2:47pm Thu 20 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

seems a bit daft people now rushing to move to Australia, they've got global warming over there also, except there issue is that that its getting hotter! they are battling forest fires due to there being no rain the entire country is like a tinder box,

the sensible thing would be to actually work with the environmental conditions like an elevated property, and good flood defence, though saying that what has happened in Somerset is total devastation, people have the entire ground floor full of water and its not nice water, there's disease, faeces, etc., its toxic, and considering that the water is still in the properties, its going to take months or years to recover from the damage

Australia sounds great - but actually really is it?
seems a bit daft people now rushing to move to Australia, they've got global warming over there also, except there issue is that that its getting hotter! they are battling forest fires due to there being no rain the entire country is like a tinder box, the sensible thing would be to actually work with the environmental conditions like an elevated property, and good flood defence, though saying that what has happened in Somerset is total devastation, people have the entire ground floor full of water and its not nice water, there's disease, faeces, etc., its toxic, and considering that the water is still in the properties, its going to take months or years to recover from the damage Australia sounds great - but actually really is it? nat_11
  • Score: 7

2:49pm Thu 20 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

MR.GOF wrote:
waste of time,what will happen when we have a high tide`s and then lots of rain,the tone backing up again,water overflowing back into the fields again,great!.
i know open, or have gates up at dunball to let out the water of sedgemoor drain when the tide goes out then to bring the water level down and stop this backing up,how hard can this be?
sounds like a good plan, you should email the environment agency, that sound like a feasible idea!
[quote][p][bold]MR.GOF[/bold] wrote: waste of time,what will happen when we have a high tide`s and then lots of rain,the tone backing up again,water overflowing back into the fields again,great!. i know open, or have gates up at dunball to let out the water of sedgemoor drain when the tide goes out then to bring the water level down and stop this backing up,how hard can this be?[/p][/quote]sounds like a good plan, you should email the environment agency, that sound like a feasible idea! nat_11
  • Score: 7

1:13am Fri 21 Feb 14

david1966 says...

I think the Australia article is tripe and merely an advertisement for said company. If thousands are looking at going from the west country then maybe the levels can be left as - NOT!

Who decided to put this in the live feed needs a kicking, look at how everyone has pulled together over the past couple of months because they care about the area and not because they are going to flee at a bit of water.
I think the Australia article is tripe and merely an advertisement for said company. If thousands are looking at going from the west country then maybe the levels can be left as - NOT! Who decided to put this in the live feed needs a kicking, look at how everyone has pulled together over the past couple of months because they care about the area and not because they are going to flee at a bit of water. david1966
  • Score: -1

10:41am Fri 21 Feb 14

Incognito! says...

Floods chaos: End cuts now!

The misery continues. As we go to press there are still 118 flood warnings and 166 flood alerts. Four people have died.

Thousands of houses and properties are under water. Sinkholes also pose a threat. And the Environment Agency (EA) has highlighted the problem of ground water, meaning saturation can prolong flooding even when the rain has eased.

With the flood waters that are devastating lives across the country come revelations about the reality of Con-Dem Britain.

Firstly and unquestionably the floods have shown again that the Coalition spending cuts are a disaster.

This is not news to the millions of people whose lives have been devastated by job cuts, benefit cuts, or service cuts.

The GMB union explained that the current flooding crisis is due to "successive years of central government cuts that have trimmed maintenance budgets and staff levels to unsustainable levels."

Since the government came to power the EA capital budget has been cut by a whopping 28%.

On top of the job cuts at the EA, the Guardian has revealed that "flood-stricken communities, including the Somerset Levels, have been left without planned defences following government funding cuts".

A Panorama programme reported that a £256 million scheme to protect towns flooded by the Thames may never be built. See pages 6 and 7 for more on the impact of spending cuts.

Attempting to dodge some of the odium coming his way Prime Minister David Cameron let the cat out of the bag.

Rather than the usual insistence on 'difficult decisions' and 'belt-tightening', he said: "Money is no object in this relief effort, whatever money is needed for it will be spent."

Despite the "no blank cheque" backtracking attempts, Cameron's "we are a wealthy country" claim reveals that when the pressure on government is urgent enough, particularly when it could threaten Tory votes, the money can be found. So why not for the bedroom tax? Why not for investment in jobs for young people?

Trade union and anti-cuts meetings must discuss how Cameron and all the cuts-supporting parties can be made to feel people's anger.

Cameron's comments drive home what we already knew - that 'money is no object' for certain items. Look at the enthusiasm there is for spending £2.5 billion on F-35 fighter jets and the annual cuts to corporation tax, benefiting the super-rich bosses in the arms industry, banks and big business.

The PCS union estimates that £120 billion is lost every year through tax evasion and avoidance mainly by the same super-rich elite.

A reported 98 of the top 100 companies on the FTSE stock exchange, firms such as Tesco and Barclays, are using tax havens.

If the unpaid taxes of the super-rich and big corporations were collected the deficit could be wiped out.

That money, and what could come from the nationalisation of the banking industry and other measures, could reverse the cuts and fund quality flood defences.

The best way to ensure 'money is no object' when it comes to our jobs, pay, pensions, benefits and services is for our collective pressure to be asserted on the Coalition - most effectively through the calling of a 24-hour general strike.

Linked to this must be the fight for no cuts and socialist change so society is democratically organised and planned around all our needs, including the long-term safe-guarding of the environment.

Floods put Tories on the rocks

The floods are showing that people are angry. A ComRes poll found that nearly three-quarters of people said the Coalition didn't appear to be in control of the situation.

Rising water has exposed the fury against a pampered elite in Westminster that continues to simmer below the surface.

A BBC Question Time audience in Scunthorpe raged against a millionaires' government that had only sprang into action when the floods hit the wealthy shires.

In the South East working class communities booed the Westminster 'wallies in wellies' for neglecting them.

The floods have given the lie to the Con-Dems constant claim that the private sector does it better and that shrinking government is the way forward.

As Jonathon Freedland put it in the Guardian: "Small-government ideology may fly in the think-tank seminar room, but when water's gushing through your letterbox, few people call for the Downing Street nudge unit." And that will probably, unusually, include some of the owners of riverside mansions.

Properly funded public services are vital for the running of society. Socialists also say they should be democratically run to meet the needs of all.

Richard Ashley, Professor of Urban Water at the University of Sheffield, said the findings of his report on flooding risk for the Labour government in 2004 have been ignored.

He correctly wrote in the Independent that "the situation in England is a systemic failure to take a longer-term and strategic approach to environmental hazards".

Ashley highlighted how pro-capitalist governments kowtow to the demands of big business to the detriment of the rest of us. "Fierce lobbying" by the building corporations delayed "the commencement of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act, which sets out how sustainable drainage systems were to be used and maintained in all new developments." Last year local councils allowed almost 90 planning developments to proceed in areas at such risk of flooding that the EA formally opposed them, according to the Independent on Sunday.

Of course the short-sightedness is not helped by the climate change scepticism that has run deep in what was promised to be the 'greenest government ever'.

Environment minister and professed sceptic Owen Patterson has cut the number of climate change advisers in the department from 38 to six and halved the funding for research into climate change.

Both Tory and Ukip groups in the European Parliament abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation.

It was designed to tackle the "rise in the frequency and intensity of floods" with "adaptation and mitigation policies".

The vote emphasised "the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena".

Con-Dem seats under threat

But many people are drawing the opposite conclusion. A YouGov survey found that the number of people who think that the 'environment' is the biggest cause of concern has jumped from 6% to 23% in a month.

There are also predictions that the floods could further erode the Tories' electoral chances - after all many of the areas hit have been Tory-voting.

According to the Times, of the 40 most marginal seats held by the Tories, 15 have been affected by the weather. Lib Dem seats are similarly affected.

Labour leader Ed Miliband asked if Cameron was "reconsidering the redundancies" in the EA. Does this signify an anti-cuts stance? No.

Labour remains committed to Tory spending plans. Labour-led councils are busy voting through millions of pounds of more cuts.

And, indicating Labour's commitment to capitalism, a European election candidate has even advised Miliband to "hug a banker" in the week big-bonus Barclays announces thousands of job cuts. Labour offers no alternative to the cuts Coalition.

The floods expose the blind, chaotic nature of the capitalist system and its inability to deal with crisis.

As we wrote of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, the suffering of the flood victims "is a monument to a blighted system".

In 2006 we contrasted "the lack of preparation, the inaction, inefficiency and corruption" in the US authorities to the "actions of Cuba, where the hurricanes' effects were mitigated through the voluntary movement of a million people before the hurricane struck.

"One system is unplanned and based on the interests of the propertied classes. The other, although unfortunately not a democratic workers' state, still has the outline of a planned economy, which makes it possible to lessen the impact of natural disasters."

This is the key revelation of the floods - an unplanned system run in the interests of the 1% will lead to misery for the mass of the population.

Although future weather cannot be exactly predicted, adequate investment in research, public services, defences and other measures can mean weather doesn't have to cause such suffering.

But that requires a system with the key sectors of the economy publicly owned and planned under democratic workers' control and management - a socialist system.

Floods reveal rottenness of government cuts - see: http://www.socialist
party.org.uk/issue/7
99/18165/19-02-2014/
floods-reveal-rotten
ness-of-government-c
uts

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Floods chaos: End cuts now! The misery continues. As we go to press there are still 118 flood warnings and 166 flood alerts. Four people have died. Thousands of houses and properties are under water. Sinkholes also pose a threat. And the Environment Agency (EA) has highlighted the problem of ground water, meaning saturation can prolong flooding even when the rain has eased. With the flood waters that are devastating lives across the country come revelations about the reality of Con-Dem Britain. Firstly and unquestionably the floods have shown again that the Coalition spending cuts are a disaster. This is not news to the millions of people whose lives have been devastated by job cuts, benefit cuts, or service cuts. The GMB union explained that the current flooding crisis is due to "successive years of central government cuts that have trimmed maintenance budgets and staff levels to unsustainable levels." Since the government came to power the EA capital budget has been cut by a whopping 28%. On top of the job cuts at the EA, the Guardian has revealed that "flood-stricken communities, including the Somerset Levels, have been left without planned defences following government funding cuts". A Panorama programme reported that a £256 million scheme to protect towns flooded by the Thames may never be built. See pages 6 and 7 for more on the impact of spending cuts. Attempting to dodge some of the odium coming his way Prime Minister David Cameron let the cat out of the bag. Rather than the usual insistence on 'difficult decisions' and 'belt-tightening', he said: "Money is no object in this relief effort, whatever money is needed for it will be spent." Despite the "no blank cheque" backtracking attempts, Cameron's "we are a wealthy country" claim reveals that when the pressure on government is urgent enough, particularly when it could threaten Tory votes, the money can be found. So why not for the bedroom tax? Why not for investment in jobs for young people? Trade union and anti-cuts meetings must discuss how Cameron and all the cuts-supporting parties can be made to feel people's anger. Cameron's comments drive home what we already knew - that 'money is no object' for certain items. Look at the enthusiasm there is for spending £2.5 billion on F-35 fighter jets and the annual cuts to corporation tax, benefiting the super-rich bosses in the arms industry, banks and big business. The PCS union estimates that £120 billion is lost every year through tax evasion and avoidance mainly by the same super-rich elite. A reported 98 of the top 100 companies on the FTSE stock exchange, firms such as Tesco and Barclays, are using tax havens. If the unpaid taxes of the super-rich and big corporations were collected the deficit could be wiped out. That money, and what could come from the nationalisation of the banking industry and other measures, could reverse the cuts and fund quality flood defences. The best way to ensure 'money is no object' when it comes to our jobs, pay, pensions, benefits and services is for our collective pressure to be asserted on the Coalition - most effectively through the calling of a 24-hour general strike. Linked to this must be the fight for no cuts and socialist change so society is democratically organised and planned around all our needs, including the long-term safe-guarding of the environment. Floods put Tories on the rocks The floods are showing that people are angry. A ComRes poll found that nearly three-quarters of people said the Coalition didn't appear to be in control of the situation. Rising water has exposed the fury against a pampered elite in Westminster that continues to simmer below the surface. A BBC Question Time audience in Scunthorpe raged against a millionaires' government that had only sprang into action when the floods hit the wealthy shires. In the South East working class communities booed the Westminster 'wallies in wellies' for neglecting them. The floods have given the lie to the Con-Dems constant claim that the private sector does it better and that shrinking government is the way forward. As Jonathon Freedland put it in the Guardian: "Small-government ideology may fly in the think-tank seminar room, but when water's gushing through your letterbox, few people call for the Downing Street nudge unit." And that will probably, unusually, include some of the owners of riverside mansions. Properly funded public services are vital for the running of society. Socialists also say they should be democratically run to meet the needs of all. Richard Ashley, Professor of Urban Water at the University of Sheffield, said the findings of his report on flooding risk for the Labour government in 2004 have been ignored. He correctly wrote in the Independent that "the situation in England is a systemic failure to take a longer-term and strategic approach to environmental hazards". Ashley highlighted how pro-capitalist governments kowtow to the demands of big business to the detriment of the rest of us. "Fierce lobbying" by the building corporations delayed "the commencement of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act, which sets out how sustainable drainage systems were to be used and maintained in all new developments." Last year local councils allowed almost 90 planning developments to proceed in areas at such risk of flooding that the EA formally opposed them, according to the Independent on Sunday. Of course the short-sightedness is not helped by the climate change scepticism that has run deep in what was promised to be the 'greenest government ever'. Environment minister and professed sceptic Owen Patterson has cut the number of climate change advisers in the department from 38 to six and halved the funding for research into climate change. Both Tory and Ukip groups in the European Parliament abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation. It was designed to tackle the "rise in the frequency and intensity of floods" with "adaptation and mitigation policies". The vote emphasised "the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena". Con-Dem seats under threat But many people are drawing the opposite conclusion. A YouGov survey found that the number of people who think that the 'environment' is the biggest cause of concern has jumped from 6% to 23% in a month. There are also predictions that the floods could further erode the Tories' electoral chances - after all many of the areas hit have been Tory-voting. According to the Times, of the 40 most marginal seats held by the Tories, 15 have been affected by the weather. Lib Dem seats are similarly affected. Labour leader Ed Miliband asked if Cameron was "reconsidering the redundancies" in the EA. Does this signify an anti-cuts stance? No. Labour remains committed to Tory spending plans. Labour-led councils are busy voting through millions of pounds of more cuts. And, indicating Labour's commitment to capitalism, a European election candidate has even advised Miliband to "hug a banker" in the week big-bonus Barclays announces thousands of job cuts. Labour offers no alternative to the cuts Coalition. The floods expose the blind, chaotic nature of the capitalist system and its inability to deal with crisis. As we wrote of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, the suffering of the flood victims "is a monument to a blighted system". In 2006 we contrasted "the lack of preparation, the inaction, inefficiency and corruption" in the US authorities to the "actions of Cuba, where the hurricanes' effects were mitigated through the voluntary movement of a million people before the hurricane struck. "One system is unplanned and based on the interests of the propertied classes. The other, although unfortunately not a democratic workers' state, still has the outline of a planned economy, which makes it possible to lessen the impact of natural disasters." This is the key revelation of the floods - an unplanned system run in the interests of the 1% will lead to misery for the mass of the population. Although future weather cannot be exactly predicted, adequate investment in research, public services, defences and other measures can mean weather doesn't have to cause such suffering. But that requires a system with the key sectors of the economy publicly owned and planned under democratic workers' control and management - a socialist system. Floods reveal rottenness of government cuts - see: http://www.socialist party.org.uk/issue/7 99/18165/19-02-2014/ floods-reveal-rotten ness-of-government-c uts For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Incognito!
  • Score: 0

11:39am Fri 21 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

david1966 wrote:
I think the Australia article is tripe and merely an advertisement for said company. If thousands are looking at going from the west country then maybe the levels can be left as - NOT!

Who decided to put this in the live feed needs a kicking, look at how everyone has pulled together over the past couple of months because they care about the area and not because they are going to flee at a bit of water.
you been living under a rock or something, haven't you seen the army building flood defences, Cameron meeting with local councils and the environment agency, talking about resolutions and finance,

Course there abandoning it flood
[quote][p][bold]david1966[/bold] wrote: I think the Australia article is tripe and merely an advertisement for said company. If thousands are looking at going from the west country then maybe the levels can be left as - NOT! Who decided to put this in the live feed needs a kicking, look at how everyone has pulled together over the past couple of months because they care about the area and not because they are going to flee at a bit of water.[/p][/quote]you been living under a rock or something, haven't you seen the army building flood defences, Cameron meeting with local councils and the environment agency, talking about resolutions and finance, Course there abandoning it flood nat_11
  • Score: 2

3:26pm Sat 22 Feb 14

IanIEA says...

Inside the Environment Agency Blog: http://www.insidethe
environmentagency.co
.uk - An ex-EA manager put the internal green conflicts succinctly in his comment the other day, so it's lack of proper direction and priorities: John: "You can consider me one of those senior EA manager - worked in various functions for 9 years, the last 3 as a AEM before leaving in 2011. Most functions outside of FCRM are over funded and inefficient (sustainable places, biodiversity, groundwater, fisheries, even EM itself). At least a fifth of the budget could be re-allocated to higher priority projects by reducing these functions without any detrimental impact to their ability to meet legislative requirements. Unfortunately, the Pitt Review from the 2007 floods was rushed, so didn't go far enough, otherwise, the EA would not again be in the position it is in. That being said, there are some very fine, hard-working and dedicated employees."
Inside the Environment Agency Blog: http://www.insidethe environmentagency.co .uk - An ex-EA manager put the internal green conflicts succinctly in his comment the other day, so it's lack of proper direction and priorities: John: "You can consider me one of those senior EA manager - worked in various functions for 9 years, the last 3 as a AEM before leaving in 2011. Most functions outside of FCRM are over funded and inefficient (sustainable places, biodiversity, groundwater, fisheries, even EM itself). At least a fifth of the budget could be re-allocated to higher priority projects by reducing these functions without any detrimental impact to their ability to meet legislative requirements. Unfortunately, the Pitt Review from the 2007 floods was rushed, so didn't go far enough, otherwise, the EA would not again be in the position it is in. That being said, there are some very fine, hard-working and dedicated employees." IanIEA
  • Score: 0

10:16am Tue 25 Feb 14

ShoulderToShoulder says...

The floods are showing that people are angry. A ComRes poll found that nearly three-quarters of people said the Coalition didn't appear to be in control of the situation.

Rising water has exposed the fury against a pampered elite in Westminster that continues to simmer below the surface.

A BBC Question Time audience in Scunthorpe raged against a millionaires' government that had only sprang into action when the floods hit the wealthy shires.

In the South East working class communities booed the Westminster 'wallies in wellies' for neglecting them.

The floods have given the lie to the Con-Dems constant claim that the private sector does it better and that shrinking government is the way forward.

As Jonathon Freedland put it in the Guardian: "Small-government ideology may fly in the think-tank seminar room, but when water's gushing through your letterbox, few people call for the Downing Street nudge unit." And that will probably, unusually, include some of the owners of riverside mansions.

Properly funded public services are vital for the running of society. Socialists also say they should be democratically run to meet the needs of all.

Richard Ashley, Professor of Urban Water at the University of Sheffield, said the findings of his report on flooding risk for the Labour government in 2004 have been ignored.

He correctly wrote in the Independent that "the situation in England is a systemic failure to take a longer-term and strategic approach to environmental hazards".

Ashley highlighted how pro-capitalist governments kowtow to the demands of big business to the detriment of the rest of us. "Fierce lobbying" by the building corporations delayed "the commencement of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act, which sets out how sustainable drainage systems were to be used and maintained in all new developments." Last year local councils allowed almost 90 planning developments to proceed in areas at such risk of flooding that the EA formally opposed them, according to the Independent on Sunday.

Of course the short-sightedness is not helped by the climate change scepticism that has run deep in what was promised to be the 'greenest government ever'.

Environment minister and professed sceptic Owen Patterson has cut the number of climate change advisers in the department from 38 to six and halved the funding for research into climate change.

Both Tory and Ukip groups in the European Parliament abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation.

It was designed to tackle the "rise in the frequency and intensity of floods" with "adaptation and mitigation policies".

The vote emphasised "the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena".

Con-Dem seats under threat

But many people are drawing the opposite conclusion. A YouGov survey found that the number of people who think that the 'environment' is the biggest cause of concern has jumped from 6% to 23% in a month.

There are also predictions that the floods could further erode the Tories' electoral chances - after all many of the areas hit have been Tory-voting.

According to the Times, of the 40 most marginal seats held by the Tories, 15 have been affected by the weather. Lib Dem seats are similarly affected.

Labour leader Ed Miliband asked if Cameron was "reconsidering the redundancies" in the EA. Does this signify an anti-cuts stance? No.

Labour remains committed to Tory spending plans. Labour-led councils are busy voting through millions of pounds of more cuts.

And, indicating Labour's commitment to capitalism, a European election candidate has even advised Miliband to "hug a banker" in the week big-bonus Barclays announces thousands of job cuts. Labour offers no alternative to the cuts Coalition.

The floods expose the blind, chaotic nature of the capitalist system and its inability to deal with crisis.

As we wrote of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, the suffering of the flood victims "is a monument to a blighted system".

In 2006 we contrasted "the lack of preparation, the inaction, inefficiency and corruption" in the US authorities to the "actions of Cuba, where the hurricanes' effects were mitigated through the voluntary movement of a million people before the hurricane struck.

"One system is unplanned and based on the interests of the propertied classes. The other, although unfortunately not a democratic workers' state, still has the outline of a planned economy, which makes it possible to lessen the impact of natural disasters."

This is the key revelation of the floods - an unplanned system run in the interests of the 1% will lead to misery for the mass of the population.

Although future weather cannot be exactly predicted, adequate investment in research, public services, defences and other measures can mean weather doesn't have to cause such suffering.

But that requires a system with the key sectors of the economy publicly owned and planned under democratic workers' control and management - a socialist system.
The floods are showing that people are angry. A ComRes poll found that nearly three-quarters of people said the Coalition didn't appear to be in control of the situation. Rising water has exposed the fury against a pampered elite in Westminster that continues to simmer below the surface. A BBC Question Time audience in Scunthorpe raged against a millionaires' government that had only sprang into action when the floods hit the wealthy shires. In the South East working class communities booed the Westminster 'wallies in wellies' for neglecting them. The floods have given the lie to the Con-Dems constant claim that the private sector does it better and that shrinking government is the way forward. As Jonathon Freedland put it in the Guardian: "Small-government ideology may fly in the think-tank seminar room, but when water's gushing through your letterbox, few people call for the Downing Street nudge unit." And that will probably, unusually, include some of the owners of riverside mansions. Properly funded public services are vital for the running of society. Socialists also say they should be democratically run to meet the needs of all. Richard Ashley, Professor of Urban Water at the University of Sheffield, said the findings of his report on flooding risk for the Labour government in 2004 have been ignored. He correctly wrote in the Independent that "the situation in England is a systemic failure to take a longer-term and strategic approach to environmental hazards". Ashley highlighted how pro-capitalist governments kowtow to the demands of big business to the detriment of the rest of us. "Fierce lobbying" by the building corporations delayed "the commencement of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act, which sets out how sustainable drainage systems were to be used and maintained in all new developments." Last year local councils allowed almost 90 planning developments to proceed in areas at such risk of flooding that the EA formally opposed them, according to the Independent on Sunday. Of course the short-sightedness is not helped by the climate change scepticism that has run deep in what was promised to be the 'greenest government ever'. Environment minister and professed sceptic Owen Patterson has cut the number of climate change advisers in the department from 38 to six and halved the funding for research into climate change. Both Tory and Ukip groups in the European Parliament abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation. It was designed to tackle the "rise in the frequency and intensity of floods" with "adaptation and mitigation policies". The vote emphasised "the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena". Con-Dem seats under threat But many people are drawing the opposite conclusion. A YouGov survey found that the number of people who think that the 'environment' is the biggest cause of concern has jumped from 6% to 23% in a month. There are also predictions that the floods could further erode the Tories' electoral chances - after all many of the areas hit have been Tory-voting. According to the Times, of the 40 most marginal seats held by the Tories, 15 have been affected by the weather. Lib Dem seats are similarly affected. Labour leader Ed Miliband asked if Cameron was "reconsidering the redundancies" in the EA. Does this signify an anti-cuts stance? No. Labour remains committed to Tory spending plans. Labour-led councils are busy voting through millions of pounds of more cuts. And, indicating Labour's commitment to capitalism, a European election candidate has even advised Miliband to "hug a banker" in the week big-bonus Barclays announces thousands of job cuts. Labour offers no alternative to the cuts Coalition. The floods expose the blind, chaotic nature of the capitalist system and its inability to deal with crisis. As we wrote of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, the suffering of the flood victims "is a monument to a blighted system". In 2006 we contrasted "the lack of preparation, the inaction, inefficiency and corruption" in the US authorities to the "actions of Cuba, where the hurricanes' effects were mitigated through the voluntary movement of a million people before the hurricane struck. "One system is unplanned and based on the interests of the propertied classes. The other, although unfortunately not a democratic workers' state, still has the outline of a planned economy, which makes it possible to lessen the impact of natural disasters." This is the key revelation of the floods - an unplanned system run in the interests of the 1% will lead to misery for the mass of the population. Although future weather cannot be exactly predicted, adequate investment in research, public services, defences and other measures can mean weather doesn't have to cause such suffering. But that requires a system with the key sectors of the economy publicly owned and planned under democratic workers' control and management - a socialist system. ShoulderToShoulder
  • Score: 0

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