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The Somerset floods mustn't become
a political football

Somerset floods  

20/02/14

Anyone living near the flooded Moors and Levels in Somerset is now totally jaundiced by the constant stream of visiting politicians (and royals) wanting their pictures taken wearing wellies near the worst affected areas.

The reaction from national government was far too late; the pumps should have been working by Christmas and not the end of January. The floods are, as all sensible people realise, a manifestation of the climate change that we were being warned about ten years ago. They are not the fault of any political party or the Environment Agency.

Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger’s incredibly puerile ‘I’ll stick his head down the loo’ taunt at the (Labour nominated) head of the EA, Lord Smith was as unhelpful as it was stupid.

Eric Pickles - the Communities Secretary – also tried to blame the floods on the EA but at least he was whipped into line by Tory Party big wigs and backtracked the following day.

If the present government wanted to change the flooding policies that the EA work to they have had four years to do it. It was within their grasp to change dredging policy and the spending limits on flood protection.

The Thames has reached is highest levels for sixty years and the Severn is reaching record heights – this is the result of an ‘act of God’ rather than the EA’s flood policy - but the Prime Minister has decided that he is now in charge and good luck to him.

Our climate is changing and sea levels are changing with it. Everyone needs to work together to structure the future of flood prevention in Somerset and not try to score political points off each other.


 

 

 
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