One Million Pounds to aid flood victims in Cumbria

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Hymie | 18:04 Sat 21st Nov 2009 | News
16 Answers
I see that Gordon Brown is suffering from ‘Doctor Evil Syndrome’, in that he has pledged the huge sum of ‘ONE MILLION POUNDS’, to help the flood victims in Cumbria.

That probably works out at less than £100 per person, who has been flooded out of their home, or has suffered huge losses as a result.

When will our politicians learn, that unlike Doctor Evil, most people in the UK know you cannot fix a disaster with such a small sum of money – and that such pledges make them look very stupid?


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Can you explain why anyone would not be insured against this sort of loss? My buildings and contents insurance is under £15 a month. I would not expect bailing out by the government.
I heard someone say because they suffered from a recent flood in the area the insurers would not insure them again. I think the same happened in Tewksbury last year.

Having said that I think the government are partially culpable in not funding our sea and river defences enough. I believe it was a paltry sum of £600m to cover the whole country.

Hilary Benn said the flood only occured once every 1000 years but he was shot down when the old Chief Scientic Advisor said that was the past period and not to the present and future due to global warming.

It is now obvious that something should be done about river flooding. They have taken some action in Kent and it protects some of the Medway villages. The government wants to act after the event when its too late.
River flooding is not a new phenonenom. This article showed the problem some years ago and how they tackled it. Someone should get their fingers out.

When I lived in Northampton, I spoke to someone who had been flooded out and he was essentially stuck as his house was classed as pretty much worthless and he had a mortgage on it. Would you buy a house that in the last 20 years had 2 foot of water in the lounge?

Insurance companies will either make premiums so high (we live near the beach and one company was three times the cost of other companies, purely because we live within 500 yards of a water source) or will make excesses ludicrously large - there was an example on BBC news this morning of a £10,000 excess for flood damage!
I sometimes wonder why people build homes on flood plains in the first place. But I suppose 20 years ago the threat of actual flooding must have seemed minor.
Some of those may have been council or private rented. You don't bother insuring (well you can't really) if it's not yours.
There was bad flooding here on the east coast in my area (east anglia ) about three years ago We are prone to flooding from the sea ..We were flooded,mainly through damage to the roof from the torrential rain and our sun room was flooded but not as badly as some poor devils who had the water up to their waists in some parts of the town. It was a two fold disaster ,the river burst it's banks and the water board had let the gulleys and a pumping station get into disrepair and the water had to go somewhere.The drains are so old they couldn't cope .
Some people were out of their homes for over year and can't afford the insurance premiums now .Our insurance went sky high after the damage . And believe me the insurance companies will wriggle out of paying as much as they can .
All very well saying insure yourself but when you live in an area that is prone to flooding and has been flooded the insurance companies know this and they up the premiums big time and some can*t afford it .The sea defences along our part of the east coast are neglible .
I don't expect to be bailed out by the government because I choose to live here but when you see your home ruined it's not funny .If you were to be flooded hc4361 and made a claim you would be paying an awful lot more than fifteen quid after that .
I am just about old enough to remember the east coast floods of 1953 .There was a danger a couple of years ago that this may have happened again with the sea surge .Luckily it wasn't major although it was a high alert There was some damage though and now they want ot get rid of the sirens .To expensive for the upkeep !
The sea defences in my part of the world leave a lot to be desired and they do nothing .In some areas the cliffs are crumbling away and people have seen their homes fall into the sea .
They seem to have plenty of dosh to fight a war though !.
As a Civil Engineer formally involved in the drainage industry, I can say without fear of contradiction (!) that the amount of water dropped on Cumbria in the last few days could never be adequately dealt with. The news reports of it being a 1 in 1000 year storm are presumptuous to say the least; the England and Wales Precipitation series, which measures rainfall and snow, goes back to 1766, and the Central England Temperature series, which covers the temperature from the south Midlands to Lancashire, is the longest-running record in the world, dating from 1659.

So we have records from, at best, 350 years ago. Needless to say, 350 years is not quite 1000.

I have heard that this particular disaster is due to Man Made Climate Change [MMCC] (formally known as Man Made Global Warming [MMGW]). The BBC told me so. So it must be true.

This event is gold dust to the MMCC fraternity. They can get all red faced and indignant about the evil that mankind is inflicting on the plant. Unfortunately for the scientifically challenged (ie. MMCC devotees) the reason for the floods is quite simple and doesn't involve CO2 at all.

It's due to nothing more than very heavy seasonal rainfall, exacerbated by an increased amount of impermeable surfaces. Where once, water would permeate into the ground, the water is now restricted from doing so by tarmac, paving stones, roofs, etc.

By creating more and more impermeable environments it is inevitable that people will increasingly be flooded out.
Since the British Government gives over £5bn in overseas aid, surely some of that could be cut, so that our own people, who are facing a very uncomfortable festive season, can look forward to their homes being more protected against further floods?
When the rest of the country is sinking without trace why is Hilary Benn's estate on the East Coast been given special preference?

It was deeply disturbing that 6 bridges have collapsed in Cumbria with many more to follow. Some residents need to take a 50 mile detour to get to the other side of the river where the doctors surgery is. Surely it will take years to repair them even if they have the finance. AOG's answer has some merit. Why don't they use the Army to build some bridges with the techniques only they can use. The name of the bridges escapes me. Is it a pontoon bridge?
We should just all pay a bit more tax.
Birdie - your arguments are impeccable until the bit about 'by an increased amount of impermeable surfaces'.
That is definitely not the problem in Cockermouth or the root cause of the bridges falling in, though it is the problem that causes very localised flooding in urban areas these days.
A foot of rain fell on open fells and that run-off is always going to end up in the watercourse. There's nothing suggest it was speeded up by evil farmers bent on getting their fields drained double-quick (to the detriment of Bloggs at the bottom of the hill).

Cockermouth must have been there as a settlement for some 500 years and this has never happened before. If you look at a aerial map of the housing, most of it is higher up. A good decision for many, but not enough for some it seems.

People make informed choices when they decide to live in a place - they ought to think about the risk and balance it. Why the hell should 'Government Insurance Brokers UK' and specifically me as a policyholder (aka as Taxpayer) bail these people out.
" Why the hell should 'Government Insurance Brokers UK' and specifically me as a policyholder (aka as Taxpayer) bail these people out."

Presumably because you have a shred of human kindness in your soul?

I object to taxpayers money bailing the useless banks out but people who are genuinely in need? Thats what civilisation is about surely?!
Yes, Avatar, and I put what I knew would be a deliberately provocative answer in, to draw a few people out. Surprised more haven't jumped in.
IMHO it is Government's role to provide emergency cover to tide people over. There's always a judgement call on that - how long does it go on for. But it doesn't extend to mending their properties if they didn't have insurance.
But I'm totally peed off with folks (stirred up by Newspapers) sitting there expecting Government to bail them out of their predicaments. The one million pounds is presumably to rebuild the infrastructure - transport links etc. It isn't going to be enough. That obviously has to be funded by central Government, aka my (and many others) tax bills.
And still they want to concrete over Britain with more housing!
In the week that Gordon Brown pledged one million pounds to Cumbria.
This government sent £293 million pounds in aid to various foreign countries.
Says it all really, we just do not count for anything except keep paying the TAX!!!!!!!!!!!

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