Councillor of flood-hit town wants ‘leadership’ from government

Thursday, February 27, 2020

A local councillor of one of the towns worst affected by flooding has called for more leadership from the government in tackling the issue, but admitted that does not necessarily mean a visit from Boris Johnson.

Caroline Healy from Ironbridge near the River Severn told talkRADIO that the town had been “relatively stoical” but the rising water had still been “very distressing”.

Residents were evacuated from their homes last night after water levels reached near record heights and flood defences buckled.

It followed a grilling of the Prime Minister in the Commons yesterday, who was criticised for not having visited affected communities – Jeremy Corbyn branded him a “part-time Prime Minister”.

Mr Johnson said he was “very proud” of the ministerial response, saying his government had invested £2.6 billion in flood defences.

But Ms Healy said she and her town want more leadership in terms of looking at how rivers are managed and called for permanent flood defences in the area.

Asked whether it was important for the Prime Minister to show his face, she told Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I don't think a photo opportunity necessarily helps residents and businesses that have been affected by this.

“I guess for some residents, seeing a minister or someone senior form government attending shows that government is aware and is listening so I think that's a useful message.”

The wet weather is not set to let up, with yellow warnings of snow and ice issued across much of the Midlands.

England has received over 200% of its average February rainfall, according to the Environment Agency, with some areas experiencing a month's worth of rain in 24 hours.

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