LiveSomerset floods: Prince Charles to meet with victims

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Last updated

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Summary

  • Heavy rainfall expected this weekend
  • January has already broken rainfall records
  • Military remain on standby to deal with floods

5:04pm

FIRST details of the Government backed high level plan to help prevent and manage potential future flooding of the Somerset Levels has been revealed.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson asked for a 20 year “action plan” to be on his desk within six weeks during a visit to Somerset’s flooded communities earlier this week.

Urgent meetings including Local Authorities, Local Agencies and Defra have now resulted in the broad areas that will be addressed by the plan.

Areas covered include:
• Dredging and rivers management
• A potential sluice or barrage on the River Parrett.
• The management of the entire river catchment, from rain falling on hills through to drainage and water storage systems
• Resilience of infrastructure including road, rail and sewage systems
• Community and business adaptation and resilience
• Funding the plan

John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council. said: "I am delighted that the County Council along with all key people in the District Councils, partner agencies and Defra have come together so quickly and that there is already significant progress.

"We will be building on the work and experience gained over many years and the task is to pull all this together in a form that has been requested; but we are confident of meeting the Minister’s deadline.

"I would also like to stress that a key part of the plan is to talk to the people who really know and understand the Levels and Moors – the farmers, the residents and the communities who live there.”

4:42pm

AVON and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan today assured communities affected by the Somerset floods that the authorities are fully prepared for whatever the weekend might bring, with further help on standby if needed.

Mr Gargan, visiting the control room at Taunton police station where agencies are working together to mitigate the flooding impact, said: “We understand the concerns of local communities.

"Our priority is to help local people as much as we can. Staff from all the agencies are continuing to work together to do everything they can to mitigate the impact of the flooding.

“We’re paying particular attention to the needs of those forty or so households that are flooded and those that are isolated because of the flooding. 

"Together with our partners, we’re constantly reviewing and assessing the needs of those affected communities and responding with support where we need to.

“We thank local charities such as Red Cross who have been invaluable in their support, as well as MoD and other services for their assistance.

“Should the threat become more extreme we have contingencies in place but at this time we have the resources and plans in place to deal with the incoming weather."

Military planners are currently working with Somerset County Council to determine what support the MOD can offer communities affected by floods.

In addition personnel have been surveying the area in order to scope potential requirements. We have a range of capabilities in the Somerset area which stand ready to assist.

Chard & Ilminster News: Nick Gargan

Nick Gargan.

3:46pm

THE Environment Agency have issued six severe 'danger to life' flood warnings now in Devon and Cornwall.

There are no severe flood warnings issued for Somerset at this stage, only flood warnings and flood alerts.

3:45pm

West Somerset will be badly hit by high tides tomorrow, road closures planned along the seafront. 

12:51pm

Chard & Ilminster News: Prince Charles at JFS

DURING his visit, Prince Charles will meet with farmers, members of the emergency services and local authorities, and volunteers who have helped throughout the crisis in Stoke St Gregory before visiting the flood-hit communities of Muchelney and Thorney.

Somerset County Council chairman, David Fothergill, said: “I’m delighted that The Prince of Wales will visit us and take the time to see the full extent of the crisis that has hit our county for the second year in a row.

"I’m sure residents will feel reassured by the visit and will make the Royal Party very welcome.

“I’m sure that, like the council, the Prince will want to thank the many volunteers who have pitched in to help out all those suffering as a result of these floods.”

Somerset County Council and South Somerset District Council said the visit had been planned for months.

A county council spokesman said: "It came after extensive flooding to the county last year and has been planned since May. 

"His visit coincides with further even more extensive flooding this winter."

Cllr Mike Best, chairman of South Somerset District Council said: ”This visit is hugely significant given His Royal Highness’s knowledge, understanding and close involvement in farming. 

"He will see at first hand the impact of the flooding on the farming community in South Somerset."

 

12:43pm

HRH The Prince of Wales is coming to Somerset on Tuesday to see for himself the devastation caused by flooding, it has just been announced. 

 

 

9:31am

THE Met Office has issued an amber warning for rain in the South-West today.

Chard & Ilminster News:

9:26am

Yesterday, members of the military arrived in Somerset to offer support, but they remain on standby after it was decided firefighters could deal with the situation for now, having supplied an extra ten pumps to manage floodwater.

Patrick Flaherty, deputy chief executive of Somerset County Council, said: “The military have come in at short notice, worked with our teams to assess what’s needed and what’s required and the fire service has met that need through its national specialist vehicles and trained staff.

“With potential flooding coming up over the weekend and flooding ongoing for weeks ahead, we now have any military help and support very much on call.

“Our communities will be extremely grateful to the fire service for the provision of their specialist vehicles that they have sourced from around the country.”

9:23am

A FURTHER inch of rain is predicted to fall today across parts of southern England, and the forecast is for more heavy rain in our region over the weekend.

Comments (10)

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9:36am Fri 31 Jan 14

Halfwit Farmer says...

Whoopee.. FB have provided a few small pumps.. capacity of less than one cubic meter.
Aren't they the saviours of the day...?!
Whoopee.. FB have provided a few small pumps.. capacity of less than one cubic meter. Aren't they the saviours of the day...?! Halfwit Farmer
  • Score: -3

10:52am Fri 31 Jan 14

theyardy says...

Halfwit Farmer wrote:
Whoopee.. FB have provided a few small pumps.. capacity of less than one cubic meter.
Aren't they the saviours of the day...?!
Easy to criticize, sat on your backside.

What have you done to help???
[quote][p][bold]Halfwit Farmer[/bold] wrote: Whoopee.. FB have provided a few small pumps.. capacity of less than one cubic meter. Aren't they the saviours of the day...?![/p][/quote]Easy to criticize, sat on your backside. What have you done to help??? theyardy
  • Score: -1

1:04pm 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: -5

1:40pm Fri 31 Jan 14

twinkles says...

The Parrett is tidal. If you make it any deeper or wider, it will simply fill up at high tide. As it already does.
The Parrett is tidal. If you make it any deeper or wider, it will simply fill up at high tide. As it already does. twinkles
  • Score: 6

6:14pm Fri 31 Jan 14

MR.GOF says...

The parret needs a gate at dundball ,so to stop the sea coming in in the first place,then raise the banks up two meter`s going back to the mouth of the parret,
so in future floods, the water can be pumped out of the parret then into the sea.
how to pay for it? the lotto....eu,or the goverment witch like`s to give million`s of cash away eact year......
The parret needs a gate at dundball ,so to stop the sea coming in in the first place,then raise the banks up two meter`s going back to the mouth of the parret, so in future floods, the water can be pumped out of the parret then into the sea. how to pay for it? the lotto....eu,or the goverment witch like`s to give million`s of cash away eact year...... MR.GOF
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Mi_Coc says...

Somerset:SocialistPa
rty
wrote:
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
No they need to tax the rich till they leave the party and then the music will stop paying becuase the rich are a necessary evil as the pay the lions shares of the taxes to enable money to be spent.

Socialism doesnt work!
[quote][p][bold]Somerset:SocialistPa rty[/bold] wrote: 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[/p][/quote]No they need to tax the rich till they leave the party and then the music will stop paying becuase the rich are a necessary evil as the pay the lions shares of the taxes to enable money to be spent. Socialism doesnt work! Mi_Coc
  • Score: 3

9:46pm Fri 31 Jan 14

LM says...

It a horrible thing to happen. The stress must be unimaginable but people need to stop living in arrears of high flood.
The government have been slow to act, especially as 40 Commando are based in Somerset BUT you can't always beat nature.
It's very unfortunate but true.
It a horrible thing to happen. The stress must be unimaginable but people need to stop living in arrears of high flood. The government have been slow to act, especially as 40 Commando are based in Somerset BUT you can't always beat nature. It's very unfortunate but true. LM
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Blue Owl says...

Twinkles, having read your post, I am at a loss as to your thought process! you "state, if the Parrett is widened and Deepened, by dredging, it will just fill up again......???!!!! Is that what you said ?!?
The whole idea behind dredging and widening the River, Parrett is to enable more Volume of water into the whole River , as it is the capacity is taken up by mud/ Silt, with this removed, not jet blasted to end up downstream. This will allow 3 -4 times more water into the River! when pumped from the levels.
At present, the simple analogy is you can not get a quart into a pint pot., the Parrett as it is now. After non dredging for the last 20 years.
The Parrett does not overfill at high tide, at present, what is wrong is that the excess water can not be pumped into an already swollen River. The capacity can be increased! and with new pumping Stations built along its length, the excess rain water can be released into the Sea via this our Tidal River.
David L Preece
Blue-Owl
Twinkles, having read your post, I am at a loss as to your thought process! you "state, if the Parrett is widened and Deepened, by dredging, it will just fill up again......???!!!! Is that what you said ?!? The whole idea behind dredging and widening the River, Parrett is to enable more Volume of water into the whole River , as it is the capacity is taken up by mud/ Silt, with this removed, not jet blasted to end up downstream. This will allow 3 -4 times more water into the River! when pumped from the levels. At present, the simple analogy is you can not get a quart into a pint pot., the Parrett as it is now. After non dredging for the last 20 years. The Parrett does not overfill at high tide, at present, what is wrong is that the excess water can not be pumped into an already swollen River. The capacity can be increased! and with new pumping Stations built along its length, the excess rain water can be released into the Sea via this our Tidal River. David L Preece Blue-Owl Blue Owl
  • Score: 2

1:32pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Blue Owl says...

It's typical, the Socialist party! here using this Forum, to knock the efforts by our government ministers! and elected local MPs,, in the last weeks visits by the Minister Owen Patterson , it is not correct! the Socialist party stating that he did not talk to local people on the ground! I was There, He did!!! Local farmers! who were affected! directly by the floods. Why, he possibly did'nt talk to all the residents, who would have wanted to speak to him, was possibly because of Anti Badger, Stop the badger cull banners put out, on the entrance to the village of BurrowBridge, He was there to see the Environment Agency Actions, talk to the press and media, which he did! going away with an insight as to what was needed.
The real problem is the inability for the Environment Agency, to understand that The BLAME, for this 2 Nd year of flooding lies squarely on their shoulders, for not dredging the River Parrett for the last 20years.......
Labour lord Paterson is in charge of the Quango that oversee's the E A remit,
Chris Patterson is paid £100.000 per year for a 3 day week for this Quango Chair........So , even today he is coming out saying that we in the Somerset Villages, must expect to have our homes and Businesses flooded, as there is no money, well 100k your salary, and another 1500 Middle/ Top Jobs in the E Agency announced last week,( not the Engineers on the Ground, who have a difficult job to do, with top heavy management! making WRONG Decisions..
The River needs dredging, there needs to be new Permanant pumping stations along the River! to take the excess rain water at low tides into the estuary! and water containment resoivoirs, to capture the rain fall higher up the hills, as it takes 2/3 days for the rain to find its way into the streams on the levels.
If, the TRADE UNIONS want to debate, that our Government has cut money to the E Agency, then ask why,!!!!!!!!!
The last labour Goverments mishandling of our Economy, under Blair! Brown,
Balls, Prescott as Deputy PM, and Milliband. What a BUNCH of Wasters.....
David L Preece
Blue- Owl.
It's typical, the Socialist party! here using this Forum, to knock the efforts by our government ministers! and elected local MPs,, in the last weeks visits by the Minister Owen Patterson , it is not correct! the Socialist party stating that he did not talk to local people on the ground! I was There, He did!!! Local farmers! who were affected! directly by the floods. Why, he possibly did'nt talk to all the residents, who would have wanted to speak to him, was possibly because of Anti Badger, Stop the badger cull banners put out, on the entrance to the village of BurrowBridge, He was there to see the Environment Agency Actions, talk to the press and media, which he did! going away with an insight as to what was needed. The real problem is the inability for the Environment Agency, to understand that The BLAME, for this 2 Nd year of flooding lies squarely on their shoulders, for not dredging the River Parrett for the last 20years....... Labour lord Paterson is in charge of the Quango that oversee's the E A remit, Chris Patterson is paid £100.000 per year for a 3 day week for this Quango Chair........So , even today he is coming out saying that we in the Somerset Villages, must expect to have our homes and Businesses flooded, as there is no money, well 100k your salary, and another 1500 Middle/ Top Jobs in the E Agency announced last week,( not the Engineers on the Ground, who have a difficult job to do, with top heavy management! making WRONG Decisions.. The River needs dredging, there needs to be new Permanant pumping stations along the River! to take the excess rain water at low tides into the estuary! and water containment resoivoirs, to capture the rain fall higher up the hills, as it takes 2/3 days for the rain to find its way into the streams on the levels. If, the TRADE UNIONS want to debate, that our Government has cut money to the E Agency, then ask why,!!!!!!!!! The last labour Goverments mishandling of our Economy, under Blair! Brown, Balls, Prescott as Deputy PM, and Milliband. What a BUNCH of Wasters..... David L Preece Blue- Owl. Blue Owl
  • Score: 1

8:32pm Mon 3 Feb 14

marsfoot1 says...

The more houses and roads that are built in the rivers Tone and Parrott Catchment areas will exaggerate the problem. This flooding is the consequence of irresponsible over development of the countryside and stupid government still insist on more and more development in this area until the levels will be returned to the sea. One minister has already stated that it will be necessary to relocate some residents I imagine to the concrete jungles they continue to build.
The more houses and roads that are built in the rivers Tone and Parrott Catchment areas will exaggerate the problem. This flooding is the consequence of irresponsible over development of the countryside and stupid government still insist on more and more development in this area until the levels will be returned to the sea. One minister has already stated that it will be necessary to relocate some residents I imagine to the concrete jungles they continue to build. marsfoot1
  • Score: 1

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