Drowning in misery: Homes flooded for a month, vast tracts of farmland wrecked, lives put on hold... all because of staggering incompetence
- Huge swathes of the Somerset Levels have been under water since Christmas
- Now experts say Environment Agency's decision to stop dredging rivers had created 25-square-mile 'disaster area'
- Two key Somerset rivers are so silted up that their capacity is down 40 per cent, meaning water is unable to run to sea
Experts backed up their claim that the Environment Agency’s decision to stop dredging key rivers had created a ‘disaster area’ covering 25 square miles. The agency has instead spent £20million on a coastal nature sanctuary, and run a programme encouraging farmers to flood their fields to promote birdlife. The Government has accepted that dredging has to resume, but Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith refuses to accept responsibility for the plight of beleaguered residents. And he infuriated homeowners by saying his staff had been ‘working their socks off’. The Labour former minister, who is on £100,000 a year for a three-day week, insisted dredging would not have solved the problems.
Read more and see pictures of the disaster
Greens are blamed, but this seems more a case of major incompetence than of misguided values. Properly applied ecology enhances the health of the environment..