Socialist Worker

Floods haven’t gone, but job cuts continue at the Environment Agency

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2393

Environment Agency workers and supporters in the GMB union

Environment Agency workers and supporters in the GMB union (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Fresh flood warnings were issued for the whole South West coast of England this week. Most of the Somerset Levels have remained underwater for yet another month. Many homes are still flooded.

Meanwhile scientists predict that flood damage across Europe could become five times worse by 2050. 

The new study published in Nature Climate Change journal combined individual countries’ flood risk assessments. This makes their forecast more accurate.

Lead author Brenden Jongman said climate change was an important factor. But he said social and economic factors, such as building on flood plains, were more important still.

The study recommends building more flood defences. But the schemes they recommend would be ruled out by the Tories’ cuts.

David Cameron pledged that no Environment Agency (EA) cuts would go through until the current flood crisis had been dealt with.

Yet EA bosses asked workers to apply for voluntary redundancy last week.

More than 1,200 workers did. This in part reflects low morale, after Tory politicians tried to deflect blame from themselves and onto the EA.

But the Tories want more jobs to go—up to 1,700. There could be hundreds of compulsory redundancies.


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