Flooding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:44 pm on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection 2:44 pm, 4th March 2020

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for mentioning Tenbury Wells, which was in my constituency in 2007 when it flooded three times. The fact that somebody lost their life there is a proper tragedy, and when one talks about flooding, there is only one thing worse, and that is efforts to politicise it.

In just two days, we had a whole month’s worth of rain, on 15 and 16 February, which has caused about £10 million of damage in my constituency. Some 110 properties have been flooded, and 389 people were evacuated or led to safety. The fire brigade has done a phenomenal job. It also rescued 30 dogs, 12 cats, 55 sheep, a pony, a parrot and a snake, believe it or not. The village of Hampton Bishop in my constituency was very badly affected. We saw the Lugg and the Wye rise to their highest levels since recording began 200 years ago, so people who think that this was a normal flood are wrong. We had 700 tonnes of water per second going past the bridge on the Wye in Hereford. The Environment Agency pumped water out of Hampton Bishop, but the problem is of the one-in-100 year floods meeting one-in-25-year defences, and we need to do considerably better.