Flooding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:50 pm on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:50 pm, 4th March 2020

As ever, it is a pleasure to serve with you in the Chair, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Unfortunately, as we all know, flooding does not discriminate, as shown by the many impassioned speeches from hon. Members on both sides of the House. Flooding affects all constituencies, and I thank every single Member who has contributed today.

Before I continue, I will mention the marvellous maiden speech by my hon. Friend Holly Mumby-Croft, the granddaughter of a veteran steelworker. She brought to life his world, her world and the world of Scunthorpe. It was vivid and fascinating to hear about the steel industry, toecaps and all. I know she will make a great contribution to this House, and she is very welcome.

At the outset, I add my condolences to those of the whole House to the families and friends of those who sadly lost their life as a result of these storms. I also give my heartfelt thoughts to those who have been flooded.

I have seen the impact at first hand in Bewdley, Worcester and Calder Valley—some of my family live near Bewdley—and I experienced the terrible flooding in Somerset in 2013-14. Some of the impact of that flooding, on both individuals and businesses, is still imprinted on my mind.

Like many others, I pay tribute to all the responders who are managing this ongoing incident and supporting flooded communities, and to the emergency services, the Environment Agency, the local authorities, the Army, Government officials and multiple Departments across Government for their professionalism and relentlessness. Some of them have been working, and are still working, 24 hours a day. Thanks to them all, and thanks to all the communities and charities working on the ground. We have heard so much about their fantastic work.