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Flooding.

Eddie Mair | 13:02 UK time, Monday, 17 December 2007

Here is the summary of the interim report on the summer floods. You can read the full thing here. We'll talk about it on the programme tonight. If you want to add a comment - or indeed if you can. The darn thing appears to be bloggered again.

Comments

  1. At 03:21 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Perhaps it would be an idea not to build new houses on known flood-plains, and not to buy a house that is built on a place known to be a flood-plain?

    Just a thought. It didn't seem to appear in the report, on a cursory reading, but it does seem a possible way to reduce the risk for an individual of having a flooded house.

    There is a flood-plain near where I live. When planning permission to build housing on it was put forward, the local villagers said, repeatedly, 'that land floods almost every winter'. The planning permission was granted. The locals have blankets in waiting to wrap round the flood-victims once the houses are occupied.

  2. At 03:26 PM on 17 Dec 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    looks like water has got in the works again!

  3. At 03:30 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Perhaps it would be an idea not to build new houses on known flood-plains, and not to buy a house that is built on a place known to be a flood-plain?

    Just a thought. It didn't seem to appear in the report, on a cursory reading, but it does seem a possible way to reduce the risk for an individual of having a flooded house.

    There is a flood-plain near where I live. When planning permission to build housing on it was put forward, the local villagers said, repeatedly, 'that land floods almost every winter'. The planning permission was granted. The locals have blankets in waiting to wrap round the flood-victims once the houses are occupied.

  4. At 03:44 PM on 17 Dec 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    CG (1)

    you are expecting a certain amount of joined-up-thinking aren't you!

    Hmmm, now let me see, that would put some of the 250,000 new homes to built as part of the Thames Gateway on marshland that is also a 'traditional' flood plain.

  5. At 05:05 PM on 17 Dec 2007, howard keal wrote:


    The Pitt report is a fig leaf covering the Government's embarrassment over its failure to adequately fund flood defences.

    Implying that people who have been flooded can somehow turn aside the wall of water sweeping through their homes is an insult.

    Only one remedy provides adequate protection and that is flood defences which towns like Malton have and others like Pickering desperately need.

    The report fails to tackle the central issue which is not about the response to floods but the reason they were allowed to happen.

    In the case of the historic market town of Pickering the Environment Agency invested £750,000 in drawing up a viable scheme of defences five years ago.

    Since then not a brick has been laid because the Government pulled the rug on funding – as it has on schemes in Thirsk, Northallerton, and Ripon.

    The report claims to be hard hitting but fails to land a glove on the Government.

    The report proudly refuses to point the finger of blame.

    But there is blame – it lies with the Government.

  6. At 05:15 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Mark Iliff 9i-liff) wrote:

    The trouble with Floodline is false alarms.

    This summer we were told 3 times to evacuate, but after 18 years living by the Thames we knew for sure that it wasn't going to get us this time.

    They're a useless - if well-meaning - bunch, and Mr Benn would do better to give them a good shaking than to blame householders.

    µ

  7. At 06:45 PM on 17 Dec 2007, barrie singleton wrote:

    I could tell you a story of the Environment Agency's competence where flooding is concerned that would keep you laughing (or crying) till New Year. How does three notices of flood risk (one declaing itself "a waterproof notice") sound? When the floods finally came they forgot to wet me.

    RIVER DANCE
    ( A true story of exchanges with the Environmental Agency et al.)
    (With great respect to Flanders and Swan.)

    ‘Twas on a July morning, the postman cast a pall
    An Environmental Warning of grave things that might befall
    I thought my house was lovely and the river view divine
    But the Powers that Be informed me I’m below the water line.
    - And it all makes more things I shouldn’t have to do.

    Twas on an August morning The Agency replied
    To my august pronouncement: “Justice surely is denied”
    They said, across two pages, they were thorough and precise
    But one should not trust their data - had I thought of growing rice?
    - And it all makes more things I shouldn’t have to do.

    One cool September morning I penned another note
    Unto West Berkshire Council Planning De-partment I wrote
    “May I please see planning records for this house of which I’m fond
    And find out who said go ahead and build it in a pond.”
    - And it all makes more things I shouldn’t have to do.

    In October I was musing on insurance claims not met
    I could not burn it down for cash if my tinder was too wet
    In my youth I heard we’re partners in this great democracy
    But now I am of age I know it’s never heard of me.
    - And it all makes things that I shouldn’t have to do.

    In November, feeling helpless, to the local press I turned
    I appealed to all the readers saying: “Help me I am spurned”
    The Agency have blighted me - West Berkshire won’t reply
    Will some knowledgeable insider ‘gainst conspiracy ally?
    - And it all make things that I shouldn’t have to do.

    December came and found me in impotent despair
    So I wrote to ask the Agency had they “Duty of Care”
    With a call to Radio Berkshire, I even tried my luck
    But all locals know of water is it’s half way up a duck.
    - And it all makes work that I shouldn’t have to do.

    I wrote to David Rendel one January day
    Complaining that the Council had simply gone away
    Attached thereto the “Floodplane Map” and added my address
    And asked him as an MP please, to get me some redress.
    - And it ll makes work that I shouldn’t have to do.

    Twas quite by chance in Feb’ry my mortgage I redeemed
    And straightway I and Lady Luck together up were teamed
    I repossessed the deeds to find the Council stipulated
    “Raise up the site and river bank ere brick with brick be mated.”
    - And it all makes things that I shouldn’t have to do.

    The Environ MENTAL agency in March sent me a dove
    Acknowledging my missive outlining the above.
    They said they were checking data “Both historic and predictive”
    And left me with a rosy glow from another “Flood Directive”!
    - And it all makes work that I shouldn’t have to do.

    In April David Rendel came up with a reply
    “January” notwithstanding, his reply was oddly dry
    Ms Manzie (Council Chief) and he had struggled to define
    Of all the plains in all the land just which flood plain was mine.
    - And it all makes work that I shouldn’t have to do.

    I wrote Rendel one more letter in a state of dudgeon - high
    Now he’s sent it to the council - AND WE’RE WAITING THEIR REPLY!

    24.7.01


  8. At 08:14 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Ivor Macadam wrote:

    It was really amazing listening to the comments in PM about flooding last July.

    You interviewed a real live 82-year-old who said categorically "we told the authorities that the drains were blocked, and for years they did nothing about it. This is the result".

    Baroness Young and Hillary Benn immediately blamed the whole thing on "Global Warming".

    Even Eddie Mair seemed taken aback by Mr. Benn's brass neck. You can almost hear Viscount Stansgate, sorry, Sir Anthony-Wedgewood-Benn, sorry, Tony Benn, saying "that's what you need in Politics, me boy, lots of brass neck".

    What WE need is to lose the arrogant authorities, the local councils who have doubled Council Tax and still don't do the job right.

    This is something "systemic" in Government: TCM, or Total Crap Management as we call it.

    Ivor Macadam

  9. At 09:07 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    My brother has recently bought a house in Oxfordshire. When he came to insure it, his insurance company didn't want to do it. They showed him an internet map (information from the government agency, I think) that they use, which marks areas in the country in categories, of which tow are:
    'flooding'
    'severe flooding'
    and as I think most people would, they assume that 'flooding' means 'it might flood', whilst 'severe flooding' means 'there is a severe risk that it may flood'.

    The two categories are actually meant to be 'flooding' meaning 'this may flood at any time there is a risk' and 'severe flooding' meaning 'this will be flooded only if the flooding is severe'.

    It's easy enough to work this out by looking: the 'severe flooding' areas are not the ones along the banks of rivers or below sea level. However, the insurance company wouldn't accept that possibility, and he had to go elsewhere for a quote. So anyone who runs up against this particular problem would be well advised to ask more than one insurance company, and not just assume that they are at severe risk and won't be able to find anyone to insure their home at a reasonable rate.

    This has been a Public Service Announcement.

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