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SOMERSET FLOODING: Military drafted in to help victims

Last updated:

Chard & Ilminster News: Photograph of the Author

    Red Cross vehicles - used in international humanitarian disasters - deployed to Somerset.
  • David Cameron pledges to dredge Rivers Tone and Parrett.
  • Emergency Cobra committee meeting held by The Government yesterday.
  • Environment Secretary Owen Paterson drafts in military help for flood victims.
  • Hundreds of homes still underwater and cut off since Christmas.


St. Austell 8:25am Thu 30 Jan 14

On reading of the plight of those on the Somerset Levels at this time one has to reflect that so much of the Netherlands is below sea level yet one doesn’t read of widespread flooding there. Is it that the Dutch are better able at maintaining their waterways and pumps than the British or is it that the British are incapable of doing anything until faced with a crisis?

Score: -6
twinkles 8:57am Thu 30 Jan 14

Different set of circumstances entirely. Learn more about the situation then come back and apologise.

Score: -7
FreeSpeech? 10:49am Thu 30 Jan 14

With regards to Somerset Drainage Boards proposals I would like to draw their attention to to "Reduce urban run-off" proposal and ask them to perhaps have a word with the planning pillo*ks at TDBC and get them to stop the building of thousands of cardboard hovels on every bit of green belt they can find in their area. They will probably respond that they have made the contractors build underground tanks for the run-off and that will solve the problem, put money on it those tanks have been full to overflowing most of this winter.

Score: -3
awayswing 8:20am Fri 31 Jan 14

Neglect and indifference from politicians over the past twenty years is as much the cause of the present problems as the heavy rainfall is.I have just heard that the machines that were used for dredging were sold for scrap years ago.In the future the EA will probably say they have no money to buy new ones.If this is the case Cameron's promises may mean nothing.

Score: -2
Somerset:SocialistParty 1:08pm Fri 31 Jan 14

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

Score: -4
feeby12007 5:12pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Is this the risk of living on a flood plain?

Score: 0
InsiderintheEA 9:06pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Inside the Environment Agency have been exposing the failings of the Environment Agency for going on a year now: http://www.insidethe

Score: 0

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