British government helps flooding

This 28 December 2015 video from England says about itself:

David Cameron gets heckled as he visits York, which has been badly hit by flooding.

Another video from England used to say about itself:

Flood Victims’ Storm Of Protest At David Cameron For [Flood] Defence Cuts

28 December 2015

The PM faced a deluge of criticism for cutting defences that could have prevented thousands of people being left homeless or without power
With much of the North under water after being battered by floods, residents turned their anger on David Cameron.

The Prime Minister faced a deluge of criticism for cutting defences that could have prevented the carnage that has left thousands of people homeless or without power and cost taxpayers £6billion – enough to build 18 NHS hospitals.

And with parts of Britain set to be hit by up to 80mm of rain in the next couple of days as Storm Frank sweeps in, experts warned the Government must rip up its policy of axing flood prevention cash.

There were also fears economic growth could be arrested due to closed businesses, farming problems and stranded residents not being able to make the shops.

Mr Cameron was met by a storm of protest as he toured York, one of the areas badly affected by the floods.

One woman shouted: “No more cuts, no more cuts to public services.”

Resident Jackie Scales, whose 86-year-old mum was rescued from floods in the city, urged the PM to “stay here” and see how people will be affected long after his PR visit was over.

She said: “I would have said to David Cameron, ‘Put some funding in place to help these people, they’ll need it.’

It’s probably going to be six months before mum can get back into her house now and she needs help.”

IT boss Chris Wardle, whose first-floor flat in York was flooded, added: “Someone, from Prime Minister to the council, really needs to sort out flood defences.

“Everything we see now is reactive. There is no broadband, there is no mobile phone or landline.

“We are cut off in terms of communication. This is 2015 and it’s like stepping back a hundred years.”

Locals spoke out as hundreds of ­families were evacuated from their homes and telephone lines to two hospitals in York went down.

Other parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cumbria were also hit by flooding and were braced for more ­torrential rain and gales.

No, the flooding in Britain is not caused by gay people, or by refugees, as right-wing wingnuts say. To the extent that it is caused by humans, these humans are mainly Conservative government politicians.

ENVIRONMENT Secretary Liz Truss was deluged with criticism yesterday over cuts to flood defences and fire services as she waded through one of the cities most devastated by the stormy weather: here.

Money’s no object for flood defences – unless they’re too expensive. It’s time the floods were privatised. Towns could bid each year to be one of the places drenched, by comedian Mark Steel: here.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Tories to hit new low with total 1bn cut to flood cash

Tuesday 29th December 2015

Top economist slams Cameron for ignoring Labour’s 2007 flood defence review

THE Tories will have presided over a £1 billion nosedive in flood defence spending by 2021 after ignoring previous warnings, a top Labour economic adviser said yesterday.

Oxford University professor Simon Wren-Lewis, one of shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s team of economic experts, rang the alarm bell as floods continued to devastate northern England.

Following floods in 2007 the Labour government commissioned a review of defences and increased spending, which peaked in 2010-11.

But following the Tory-Liberal coalition victory in 2010, the government cut back and has continued to do so.

Prof Wren-Lewis said the deficit would reach £1bn by 2021.

“That is a huge spending gap created by the Conservatives. I still find it remarkable that no-one has held the government to account for this huge failure.

“That is despite all the flooding that has occurred since 2011, some of the damage from which must be the result of this missing spending,” he said.

“Yet the government continues to get away with talking about unprecedented rainfall, as if no-one had thought this might happen.”

Unions warned of much worse to come if the government continues with its planned attacks on spending, especially funding for the Environment Agency.

General union GMB said that the agency is due to meet in January to decide where the jobs axe will fall next — and called for the plans to be dropped following the weekend’s devastation.

“Flooding is currently costing at least £1 billion a year. Even if filling that spending gap had prevented only a small proportion of these current and future costs, it would have produced a handsome return, as well as avoiding a great deal of individual heartbreak,” said Prof Wren-Lewis.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: “You would have thought David Cameron had learnt the lesson from the floods of 2013-14. Apparently not.

“GMB members at the Environment Agency still do not know what day-to-day revenue spending will be on maintenance of flood defences from 2016-17 onward.

“This is apart from the scrapping of hundreds of flood defence schemes due to cuts in spending.

“This month’s weather and flooding are yet another reminder of the foolhardy stupidity of the government making spending cuts to the Environment Agency.

“It is quite simply penny wise and pound foolish to make any cuts that affect any of the agency’s vital functions, or cut the jobs of those who carry them out.”

GMB called on the Environment Agency to abandon its plans to axe jobs and to instead demand more government funding.

Experts criticise George Osborne over flood protection funding. Tories promised £400m a year investment on flood defences but data shows spending was cut sharply at start of last parliament: here.

This video from England says about itself:

Cameron’s lack of response to floods in 2014

21 February 2015

Not only did Cameron fail to act, his Government actually cut the spending to flood protection when he came to power making the problem worse for everyone.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Firefighters praised for wonderful work

Tuesday 29th December 2015

But crews are stretched to the limit by government cuts

FIREFIGHTERS were hailed yesterday for their heroic efforts that saved the lives of 1,000 people during the floods despite severe cuts to services.

A pregnant woman, children and elderly people in their care homes were rescued by Greater Manchester crews wading waist deep in freezing water for up to eight hours.

More than 35 fire engines were out at the height of weekend floods as crews dealt with emergencies. In one rescue alone in Salford, 47 people were saved from a caravan site affected by rising water including four stranded in a car.

In bizarre scenes of disaster and mundanity, Christmas presents could be seen floating from homes and one man swam across his living room to retrieve his slippers.

Fire authority chairman David Acton praised the firefighters’ “magnificent” response as they worked alongside the army and local communities.

He said: “Off-duty firefighters spending time at home with their families for Christmas came in to support the effort and relieve tired colleagues, some of whom had been wading through water for eight hours solid.

“We are a highly professional service and we have responded magnificently — but we were stretched and I was pleased to see others, including government, recognise the wonderful job carried out by our crew.”

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned that the service is being “dismantled” with almost 7,000 firefighters’ jobs cut over the last five years.

Station closures and job losses could have a “disastrous” impact on safety, the union said.

Most of the 6,716 jobs have been cut in the north — in the areas worst hit by the flooding.

The number of fire stations has been cut by 30 in the same period, according to the study of official operational statistics, with the biggest single loss being the 10 closures in London.

Further jobs and cuts are expected next year, the union warns.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The fire and rescue service simply can’t take any more cuts.

“This government, with its ruthless austerity agenda, have put fire and rescue services on a trajectory that is frankly heading for a disaster in terms of public and firefighter safety.”

This video from England says about itself:

Terrifying moment bridge collapses and explodes after floods

26 December 2015

The day Britain went under: UK hit by worst floods in decades as towns become ‘mini Venices’ and thousands flee their homes after a MONTH of rain falls in 24 hours… and more is on the way The Met Office has issued two red alerts for rain, the most severe warning, in Lancashire and Yorkshire & Humber Towns and cities – including Leeds and Rochdale – flooded with up to 6 feet of water when rivers burst their banks A 200-year-old former pub has been destroyed by the pressure of the water at Summerseat, Great Manchester today 20ft sinkhole has opened up on the M62 near Rochdale, forcing the road to be shut between junctions 19 and 20.

Britain was overwhelmed by the most widespread flooding for decades yesterday as the dire weather left a trail of chaos stretching hundreds of miles and affecting 2,000 homes.

Huge swathes of the North of England, including parts of Manchester and Leeds and their satellite towns, were under up to 6ft of water after a month’s rain fell in a single day.

Thousands of residents were forced to flee their homes and in some cases whole towns were cut off as the misery of flooding spread across Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire, and parts of Scotland and North Wales. And for the first time since the waters started rising a month ago, densely populated urban areas were engulfed.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

DEVASTATING floods submerging city centres and ruining homes are occurring with ever greater frequency in Britain.

With tedious inevitability, we hear from David Cameron that the government has done all it can to prevent floods and to protect people from them when they happen. But it isn’t true.

There is a shameless quality to a Prime Minister who can brazenly state on TV: “We spent more in the last parliament than in the previous parliament and we’re going to spend even more in this parliament, so it’s a rising budget.”

He even named a figure, £2.3 billion, to make his claim sound authentic. That may have been a mistake, however, since that would appear to be less than the £2.34bn spent on flood defences in the last parliament, which was less than the £2.37bn spent in the one before.

A cuts-crazed Chancellor with an allergy to the very existence of public services has not spared measures to protect the environment from his short-sighted assault on any and all public spending.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had another 15 per cent of its funding lopped off in November’s Spending Review, to be secured by “efficiencies” such as sacking people and “cutting red tape for businesses” (easing restrictions on polluting or poisoning the natural environment).

By Peter Lazenby in Britain today:

THE government was accused yesterday of creating another north-south divide in its response to the weekend floods which have devastated northern England.

In Leeds, which was badly hit as the River Aire overflowed, the city’s Labour council leader accused the government of scrapping a flood-prevention scheme which was being worked on in 2011.

Council leader Judith Blake said the scheme would have protected the 200 homes and 400 businesses devastated by the floods, which she said were a “preventable disaster.”

This video from Britain says about itself:

Department for the Environment knew about flood risks – but Tory policy stopped them warning people

1 March 2014

The Department for the Environment knew about the risk of the Thames flooding, but no warnings were given — because it didn’t fit with the Conservative campaign focus points of crime, the economy, immigration and welfare. New government instructions state that Tory MPs can only talk about these focus points, and are not to comment on other matters.

LANCASHIRE villagers remained on high alert yesterday after being told they could face further flooding in what they feel is already a “war zone”. Croston was bracing itself for more rain after three severe flood warnings — meaning danger to life — were issued by the Environment Agency, with a high-tide warning in place yesterday afternoon: here.

NORTHERN England is witnessing its greatest civilian mobilisation in decades with thousands of volunteers in action over the last few days helping victims of the weekend’s floods: here.

COMMUNITY groups have chipped in hundreds of thousands of pounds to help victims of the flooding in northern England. The flood recovery fund appeal, run by the Community Foundation for Lancashire, has raised about £130,000 to contribute to clean-up costs, emergency repairs, clothing, food and drink, heating and heating equipment and to provide childcare equipment and basic furniture: here.

Storms in December have brought floods to large parts of Wales, northern England and the border areas of Scotland: here.

14 thoughts on “British government helps flooding

  1. Thursday 31st December 2015

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    RAILWAY engineers and maintenance workers battled yesterday to repair tracks hit by collapses, landslides and flooding as more storms battered northern England and Scotland.

    Services on at least six networks — Cross Country, Caledonian Sleeper, TransPennine, ScotRail, Virgin and East Coast — have been affected by the storms.

    Rail union RMT called for an end to cuts, job losses and planned privatisation of the body responsible for maintaining the network, Network Rail.

    RMT general secretary Mick Cash said his members “deserve full recognition for their heroic efforts.

    “With the impact of the floods and storms coming alongside a massive programme of seasonal engineering works it is about time this government started respecting and supporting Britain’s rail workers rather than threatening them with more job cuts and the lethal gamble of Network Rail privatisation,” he said.


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