Socialist Worker

Furious flooded residents demand more than the ‘usual promises’ from Cameron

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2483

Residents of Cumbria were furious with David Cameron as he came for a photo-op on Monday of this week.

Storm Desmond has wreaked devastation across Cumbria and Lancashire.

Thousands of homes have been swamped, tens of thousands left without power and the body of an elderly man found in the River Kent.

The death toll had reportedly risen to three as Socialist Worker went to press. But this is no natural disaster. Cameron has slashed funding for flood defences.

The budget went down by £116 million this year alone.

In Carlisle, Craig Brownlee-Chapman told journalists, “I am so so angry about flood defences.

“They spent £48 million after 2005 and we were told it could not be breached, that the flooding was a once in 100 years event.

“Here we are ten years later and it has been breached, and we have lost so much—I am really bitter.

“Cameron is in Carlisle today with all the usual promises.

“But what is he going to do now?”

Local government funding for flood relief was also cut by a third to just £10 million this year.

Cuts

It follows cuts of hundreds of jobs at the Environment Agency, the main body dealing with floods.

One reason the army had to be brought in was that Fire and Rescue services have been cut.

Some 87 jobs have been lost since 2010—and the Tories aren’t done.

Five of the Cumbria stations where firefighters are working 11-hour shifts to deal with the floods are earmarked for closure.

This is supposedly due to lack of use.

The firefighter-run Save Lazonby Fire Station campaign said on Twitter on Sunday, “We’ve been inundated.

“Yesterday consisted of rescues of persons, pumping out of homes, assisting the elderly, road traffic collisions and the lot.

“The appliance went out this morning to Carlisle and is still out due to large number of incidents.”

Firefighters had to request support from Cockermouth, more than 35 miles away, the previous day.

The climate change our rulers refuse to tackle (see pages 8 & 17) could make more floods more likely to occur more often.

But while Cameron splashes out for a new war on Syria, he can’t find the cash to keep us safe from this very real threat.

 

 


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