Much of North Tyneside has suffered in the recent flooding. Some houses have been deluged for the second time in five years. Imagine the pain of seeing hard-earned carpets and furniture being ruined and, having been replaced, to go through the ordeal again.
We all saw how residents in Kent took out their anger on the Prime Minister when he came calling for a photo shoot. I know that very many people here in North Tyneside are angry and frustrated. Understandably.
Weather is, of course, a force of nature and there is a limit to controlling it. Yet even if we cannot always alter what’s thrown at us, we can do and we must do more to help mitigate its impact. The facts speak for themselves. With one in six properties in the UK at risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency, now is not the time to cut funding on flood defence.
With £500m cuts and a loss of 1,550 jobs so far, the Environment Department is facing a further cut of £300m over the next two years. This seriously compromises its ability to deal with such crises. Despite warm words to the contrary from ministers, who seem to be increasingly out of touch, I worry deeply that these cuts will affect frontline services and schemes.
David Cameron now needs to intervene and I will flood his and his ministers’ in-boxes until action is taken to tackle flooding.