Prime Minister promises money to fight the floods + Audio

Herald Series: David Cameron has a look at the floods in Bablockhythe with resident Adrian Smith.  Picture: OX64555 Ed Nix Buy this photo David Cameron has a look at the floods in Bablockhythe with resident Adrian Smith. Picture: OX64555 Ed Nix

DAVID Cameron has promised Oxford more cash will be spent to build up the city’s flood defences.

The Prime Minister, speaking at a waterlogged mobile home park in his Witney constituency, said he would make sure lessons were learnt in the city and county after the flood waters subside.

Mr Cameron visited the Thameside Court site in Bablockhythe by the swollen River Thames to speak to flood-hit residents and those working on the relief effort.

The PM’s visit came as Oxford spent a third day shut down by floods, with Abingdon and Botley Roads remaining closed and many train services to the city suspended.

There is no word on when the two roads might reopen, but there were hopes last night that Botley Road could reopen this weekend as flooding died down in much of the county.

When asked if the city’s flood defence system was inadequate, Mr Cameron said: “A lot of work has been done but there is always more work that needs to be done.”

He said his Government had committed to spending £2.3bn over four years – up from £2.1bn in the period before that.

He said: “There has been good flood defence work put in place in Oxford. Here, in my constituency, we have had flood alleviation measures put in place in the Wychwoods, in Witney, in Standlake, and these have made a difference.

“Homes have been protected because of the investment that has been made.

“But there is always more that needs to be done and as this water subsides we can look again and see if there is more action we can take.”

The Conservative also praised the flood relief workers and said: “We should pay tribute to neighbours and friends who have done a lot for each other.”

When asked what assurances he could make to people in Oxford hit again by flooding, he said: “The promise I can make is we will go on investing in flood defences.

“Money will keep being spent and we will always look after any flood about whether there is new information, new patterns we can respond to and we will continue to improve our country’s resilience.”

Mr Cameron also denied his Government was cutting investment into flood prevention despite the agency saying that around 1,500 jobs could go this year.

He said: “The Environment Agency is properly resourced, properly staffed, the frontline is being protected and the money is going into flood defences.”

On Thursday about 20 Bablockhythe residents were helped to leave their homes by firefighters and council staff.

Thameside Court resident Bernadette Neil spoke to the PM about how the flooding had affected her and husband Andrew.

She told Mr Cameron how pleased she had been with the flood relief help. She said: “I said they had done everything they could. They cannot fight nature. No-one can.”

But the 63-year-old said more could have been done to clear the ditches at Bablockhythe but said she realised money was not available.

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11:17am Sat 11 Jan 14

DoctorBob says...

Cameron the PR man.
Cameron and the Tories, the reality; from the Financial Times;
The Environment Agency, the quango responsible for Britain’s flood defences, is set for 1,700 job losses in the next 12 months even as swaths of the country struggle to recover from the new year deluge.

The figure comes as MPs on Monday asked whether Defra, the environment department, can sustain further budget cuts in the coming years after a 36 per cent real terms budget reduction since 2010.

The recent floods over the Christmas holidays reinforced concerns about public spending cuts on the department, said Anne McIntosh, chair of the Commons environment committee.

“Ministers must clarify how further budget cuts of more than £300m over the coming two years will impact on the funding provided to these agencies and the ability of the department to respond to emergencies.”

550 of these jobs are from the Flood Teams.
Cameron the PR man. Cameron and the Tories, the reality; from the Financial Times; The Environment Agency, the quango responsible for Britain’s flood defences, is set for 1,700 job losses in the next 12 months even as swaths of the country struggle to recover from the new year deluge. The figure comes as MPs on Monday asked whether Defra, the environment department, can sustain further budget cuts in the coming years after a 36 per cent real terms budget reduction since 2010. The recent floods over the Christmas holidays reinforced concerns about public spending cuts on the department, said Anne McIntosh, chair of the Commons environment committee. “Ministers must clarify how further budget cuts of more than £300m over the coming two years will impact on the funding provided to these agencies and the ability of the department to respond to emergencies.” 550 of these jobs are from the Flood Teams. DoctorBob
  • Score: -25

11:22am Sat 11 Jan 14

DoctorBob says...

The Tories, quite literally destroying Britain.
The Tories, quite literally destroying Britain. DoctorBob
  • Score: -24

12:11pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Manor Born says...

Just another promise to be broken in what is becoming an increasingly long list of broken promises.
Just another promise to be broken in what is becoming an increasingly long list of broken promises. Manor Born
  • Score: -82

1:42pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Oxonian says...

Hypocrisy, thy name is Cameron.
Hypocrisy, thy name is Cameron. Oxonian
  • Score: -86

3:31pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

DoctorBob wrote:
Cameron the PR man.
Cameron and the Tories, the reality; from the Financial Times;
The Environment Agency, the quango responsible for Britain’s flood defences, is set for 1,700 job losses in the next 12 months even as swaths of the country struggle to recover from the new year deluge.

The figure comes as MPs on Monday asked whether Defra, the environment department, can sustain further budget cuts in the coming years after a 36 per cent real terms budget reduction since 2010.

The recent floods over the Christmas holidays reinforced concerns about public spending cuts on the department, said Anne McIntosh, chair of the Commons environment committee.

“Ministers must clarify how further budget cuts of more than £300m over the coming two years will impact on the funding provided to these agencies and the ability of the department to respond to emergencies.”

550 of these jobs are from the Flood Teams.
If they had been doing a good job for the last 20 years - there wouldn't be any flooding.
[quote][p][bold]DoctorBob[/bold] wrote: Cameron the PR man. Cameron and the Tories, the reality; from the Financial Times; The Environment Agency, the quango responsible for Britain’s flood defences, is set for 1,700 job losses in the next 12 months even as swaths of the country struggle to recover from the new year deluge. The figure comes as MPs on Monday asked whether Defra, the environment department, can sustain further budget cuts in the coming years after a 36 per cent real terms budget reduction since 2010. The recent floods over the Christmas holidays reinforced concerns about public spending cuts on the department, said Anne McIntosh, chair of the Commons environment committee. “Ministers must clarify how further budget cuts of more than £300m over the coming two years will impact on the funding provided to these agencies and the ability of the department to respond to emergencies.” 550 of these jobs are from the Flood Teams.[/p][/quote]If they had been doing a good job for the last 20 years - there wouldn't be any flooding. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 20

3:35pm Sat 11 Jan 14

The Foxy Lady says...

And see todays report in national newspapers that Camermoron has tried to suppress. Thousanss more homes to built. Including on flood plains all around Oxford.
And see todays report in national newspapers that Camermoron has tried to suppress. Thousanss more homes to built. Including on flood plains all around Oxford. The Foxy Lady
  • Score: -22

10:34pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Councillor mark cherry says...

David Cameron promises one thing on flooding
.But I've just seen Cllr Rodney Rose on BBC 1 local
News saying "Oxfordshire county council will get no
Money from the government flood scheme unless the expenditures
Over 1.2 million . There's a pattern emerging with David Cameron and Eric pickles intent on shafting Oxfordshire county council big time. Conservative county councillors must share my amazement.
David Cameron promises one thing on flooding .But I've just seen Cllr Rodney Rose on BBC 1 local News saying "Oxfordshire county council will get no Money from the government flood scheme unless the expenditures Over 1.2 million . There's a pattern emerging with David Cameron and Eric pickles intent on shafting Oxfordshire county council big time. Conservative county councillors must share my amazement. Councillor mark cherry
  • Score: -30

9:28pm Mon 3 Feb 14

InsiderintheEA says...

Inside the Environment Agency have been exposing the failings of the Environment Agency for going on a year now: http://www.insidethe
environmentagency.co
.uk/
Inside the Environment Agency have been exposing the failings of the Environment Agency for going on a year now: http://www.insidethe environmentagency.co .uk/ InsiderintheEA
  • Score: 0

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