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.