County Council invites Ministers to see the flood damage

Somerset County Council has confirmed it has invited government ministers and flood experts to visit the county to see first-hand the devastating flooding that has hit the area.

Ministers from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and members of the all-party Parliamentary group on flooding have been invited to the county to visit the flooded in community of Muchelney, see the state of the currently closed A361 and view the levels, much of which are under several feet of flood water.

It is part of the Somerset County Council-led campaign for significant flood prevention investment in the county. Under the campaign banner of “Fairer Funding for Somerset”, councillors are demanding government support to prevent further major floods.

“We really want to show ministers just how bad it is in Somerset – and for a second year in a row,” said Council Leader John Osman. “People want action, not words, and it is time the Government fronted up. We have provided a boat to help people in Muchelney, we have responded 24/7 as the flood waters rose, we have done everything in our power. But we still have people cut off, we still have major roads closed and we still have people stranded, worried and picking up the pieces of their life. The government can, and must, put its hand in its pockets and step in.”

He said investment could mean river dredging, engineering projects or grants for specific flood prevention schemes.

Cllr Osman appealed for residents and communities to show their support for the campaign by “liking” and uploading content to the Council’s newly created campaign facebook site http://www.facebook.com/fairerfundingforsomerset or using the hashtag #fairerfundingforsomerset on twitter.

“The more people who support the campaign, the more pressure we can put on government. Let’s get everyone behind this campaign and deliver investment where it is most needed,” he said.