" .. Flooding: a synergy between "green" ideologues and Brussels .. "
Richard North 13th February 2014
As has been widely reported by the UK media the 2013/14 winter storms have had a catastrophic impact upon many occupants of the Somerset Levels. On 3rd February 2014 Prince Charles paid a visit to the flooded Somerset Levels and it is reported that Charles Hignett, chairman of the Country Landowners and Business Association's Somerset Branch, said " .. I think the Prince of Wales was listening, he was in a listening mode. I am quite sure he understands the issues very well." (http://www.talktalk.co.uk/news/uk/article/charles-on-tragedy-of-flood-delay/118400/).
On 7th February 2014 the visit by Lord (Chris) Smith, Chairman of the Environmental Agency (http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/aboutus/organisation/38747.aspx) enjoyed a less enthusiastic welcome (Appendix A, Note 4). His proposal to get started doing some dredging during the coming months was greeted with derision by locals who were asking why it had taken so long to reach the conclusion that this was a solution to the problem. During his visit (following that of Lord Smith) David Cameron said it was "wrong" to stop dredging in the Levels in the 1990s, adding: "We need to get dredging again .. Everything that can be done, will be done and I'll make sure that happens. There are always lessons to learn and I'll make sure they are learned. I've said that when the water-levels are down and it's safe to dredge, to make sure that these rivers and these ditches can carry a better capacity of water .. " (http://news.sky.com/story/1208256/cameron-pledges-help-to-flood-hit-somerset).
Listening, understanding, reacting and learning are all very well but what is it that has been done to cause such horrendous flooding knowing full-well that the area is prone to such events. What could and should have been done to minimise the impact and what can be done now to minimise the risk of it happening again?