• BBC Sunday Politics Show: Flooding and central government swingeing cuts

    17th February 2014 | News | Claire
  • The BBC said that between 2008 and 2013 local councils in the south west (not including Cornwall, which had an even higher figure) had approved 352 major planning applications in areas that flood, against the Environment Agency’s advice.

    Cllr Roger Giles, who was interviewed, said that under the current government there have been massive budget cuts to the Environment Agency and new planning guidance which relaxed the rules over building in areas that flood.

    Worryingly, both Cllr Evans and Mr Parish appeared to be arguing that we had no choice but to build in floodplains but finding a way to deal better with the fallout.

    Mr Evans pointed to some (expensive) new designs which are supposed to keep out floodwater and Mr Parish referred to “Dutch pumps” currently being deployed in the Somerset Levels as a possible way forward.

    MP vote on local government swingeing cuts
    Then Mr Parish defended his vote last week, in favour of swingeing local government cuts and a paltry sum of money that the government offered to local councils to apparently try and make up some of the massive shortfall, also caused by the funding imbalance between urban and rural councils.

    Mr Parish has long been an ardent critic of this funding imbalance and has promised “peasant revolts” in previous years, however, for the second year running, he voted in favour of the government’s proposals, saying that the government needed more time.

    See the link below.  The flooding item starts at 44.43. The budget item is on straight afterwards.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03tzb7w/Sunday_Politics_South_West_16_02_2014/

    Photograph: Feniton Gardens in December 2012.