Category: Environment

Storm Dennis: Criticism of councillors and town council as it discussed the flood on Monday

Most members of Ludlow Town Council attended the extraordinary meeting of Ludlow Town Council on Monday evening. Viv Parry was very critical of other councillors for not turning out to help on Sunday 16 February. Glen Ginger took a different view and said only trained people should help in an emergency. But councillors overall though the town council could do more, including completing its emergency plan, work on which seems to have stalled. There was agreement that there could be improvements to flood defences on Temeside. I told the meeting we need to do work on the Lower Corve also.

The head of the Environment Agency today made a barnstorming speech on flooding. He is making the right noises about tackling the climate emergency. That’s welcome. But he still thinks housing can be built in high risk flood areas. Sir James Bevan didn’t speak about his own agency applying the lax national planning rules in a lax manner. According to a joint investigation by the Guardian and Greenpeace’s Unearthed news unit, 764 homes in our county are due to built in Flood Zone 3 – which has the highest risk of flooding – between 2015 and 2018. That’s one in twenty homes built in Shropshire.

Storm Dennis – government funding for flood affected homes and businesses in Shropshire

At ten o’clock last night, the government announced a package of funding for flood affected homes, businesses and councils. We have yet to see the local details but there will be financial support. That includes business rate and council tax relief. Grants for small businesses to recover. Money for households to improve their flood resilience. That will be welcomed by businesses and households. I will publish details on how to apply as soon as I get them. Given the late notice of the funding, no one knows the details yet. If there is specific help you need right now, let us know.

Storm Dennis – the clean up continues – skips are being provided in Ludlow

Shropshire Council came to Ludlow yesterday to help with the clean up operation. At least 30 homes are flooded. Many businesses also. From mid-morning, highways crews were collecting furniture, fridges, carpets and other debris from Temeside. At an on-site meeting with Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting and chief executive Clive Wright yesterday lunchtime we agreed that skips would be delivered to Lower Corve Street and Temeside. We need skips to help people who are flooded out. We need skips to prevent a rat infestation as the food in fridges and freezers goes rotten.

Challenge ahead for MP Philip Dunne as he takes lead of Commons Environmental Audit Committee

Former minister and Ludlow MP since 2005, Philip Dunne has been elected chair of the environmental audit committee (EAC) by follow MPs. I congratulate him. His predecessor was Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield who lost her seat in November’s general election. Under Creagh’s leadership, EAC was forthright, challenging the government on many of its policies and bringing new issues to the its attention. Dunne himself says Creagh will be a hard act to follow.

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