Flooding - Time for an enquiry and new powers

Once a year there is a story about some town getting flooded, be it in Cornwall through a flash flood or Hereford because of extreme rain. However, this year's continued and appalling flooding is something completely out of the ordinary, but is also something that this country looks like it may have to put up with year after year.

We need to know the reasons why our rivers and flood defences seem unable to cope with sever rain. It might be due to inaction or incompetence by the agencies with responsibility for flood defences. Equally, it might be that planning regulations have become so weak that authorities are unable to prevent developers building houses in areas that have a history of flooding.

Either way, an inquiry by government is needed to investigate how the risk of future flooding can be eased, to what extent planning laws need to be changed and to also importantly, to have government agencies able to offer technical and financial support to areas affected by flooding, with strategic powers also available to direct military and civil authorities at times of emergency.

The government has done much to ensure that everything is in place to deal with terrorist incidents quickly. A similar focus is now needed with regard to flooding.


Tristan said...

Perhaps the government should have less powers?

The knee-jerk 'more powers' call is profoundly illiberal. Liberalism is at its core skeptical about power, no matter if that power is meant to be used for good.

Perhaps local people could fund river and flood defenses rather than central government.
The mess has been caused by central control, the solution is not more powers but less central control.

As for building on flood plains - there's no option - the precious green belt must be preserved at all costs. Be they buildings in at risk areas or higher house prices.

And if you buy a house on a flood plain then get insurance. If you don't its your own stupid fault.

Norfolk Blogger said...

On the insurance point I fully agree.