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"Everybody can’t be everywhere at the same time"

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
A valid point Sir Philip Dilley...but one can at least be in the same country as the disaster relief effort you are nominally head of.

As someone who has had their "wellies on" the last few days - I absolutely applaud the efforts of the Environment Agency staff who have done a sterling job of co-ordinating the disparate organisations drawn in from far and wide to assist with the chaos. Perhaps Sir Philip deserves some credit for this...but I can't help but wonder if his participation has been little more than a £100,000 drain on the public purse that would have been better spent on coal face staff. Especially as many of those assisting with the efforts are volunteers - large numbers drawn from outside the affected regions - of which most gave up good portions of their Xmas holidays to assist.

Do we really need such figureheads for our public bodies if they aren't going to front up when it actually matters? Hopefully his appearance at the Select Committee in the days ahead will see him get a right roasting!
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
By all accounts the response has been well coordinated and well run. Which ultimately is what we want? What would have been different if he had been directly in the country? Other than perhaps a grim satisfaction that he has had his XMAS ruined too?

Has he actually failed in his job or performed badly?

While I somewhat agree he should have been there, I can't help but think that I think that due to a misplaced form of presentee-ism where he should be seen to be there, even if his presence would not make any difference.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
By all accounts the response has been well coordinated and well run. Which ultimately is what we want? What would have been different if he had been directly in the country? Other than perhaps a grim satisfaction that he has had his XMAS ruined too?

Has he actually failed in his job or performed badly?

While I somewhat agree he should have been there, I can't help but think that I think that due to a misplaced form of presentee-ism where he should be seen to be there, even if his presence would not make any difference.
I don't disagree with your first points - although we will have to see how it all adds up in the post-event analysis - but your last point is flawed. It is not a question of "presentee-ism" - it is one of leadership. And there he has failed.
 

Enki

Banned
Pitt review and look no further, this what happens when you ignore academic analytical evidence and its suggestions. The year ended with critique of Austerity, laid bare for all to see, what has been beset on the flood lands of the north. Dilley who? He will be overshadowed by Austerity.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Much ado about nothing. Generally speaking.


By all accounts the response has been well coordinated and well run. Which ultimately is what we want? What would have been different if he had been directly in the country? Other than perhaps a grim satisfaction that he has had his XMAS ruined too

Indeed.

Had he have had the misfortune to have been caught up in a hurricane (not going to happen in December though which is why he was out there) in Barbados (or wherever he was) then they might have taken it a bit easier on him.

More a case of just wanting to see him getting stuck in with the rest of them.
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
I lived in York for several years.

The recent problem was waterlogged land from previous rainstorms taking the brunt of a wide ranging rainstorm covering a large area of saturated land. Cities, like York, which strategically lie where large watercourses meet will of course have to accept the rough with the smooth.

Also, villages and small towns situated in deep (but picturesque) valleys will also pay the price.

It doesn't matter how much money is thrown at building up defences, it makes no odds how high walls are built or how deep the dredging of rivers. The water has to go somewhere and it is pretty obvious it goes down valleys and swells rivers.

The answer is not to build along big rivers or in valleys. But then history has dictated that that is where building has taken place for many very good reasons.

Basically there is nothing anyone can do against the force of nature, especially against its occasional extremes of weather.
 

Sonic67

Banned
CMD visited. So what? Whenever I've been busy at an important task and a bigwig turned up everything stopped to fawn over the bigwig. Better if they are kept as far away as possible so those in the know can just get on with it.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
What more could he have done if he had returned early?

Surely his job is to ensure things are planned and in place in the eventuality of a flood. That's quite a different job to hands-on, directing a live response on a minute-by-minute basis.

Even if it was, it'd be something he'd be doing over the 'phone/internet, rather than on the ground.

If he'd returned, where would he go?

York, and have the residents of Cumbria complain?

Vice versa?

Steve W
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
I lived in York for several years.

The recent problem was waterlogged land from previous rainstorms taking the brunt of a wide ranging rainstorm covering a large area of saturated land. Cities, like York, which strategically lie where large watercourses meet will of course have to accept the rough with the smooth.

Some areas will be vulnerable to flooding due to where they are situated, however there is a lot more going on that's making the problems worse -
This flood was not only foretold – it was publicly subsidised | George Monbiot

Also, villages and small towns situated in deep (but picturesque) valleys will also pay the price.

They've been paying the price for a long while now, but instead of say once in 100 years it's happening all too often.

It doesn't matter how much money is thrown at building up defences, it makes no odds how high walls are built or how deep the dredging of rivers. The water has to go somewhere and it is pretty obvious it goes down valleys and swells rivers.

I don't know why people get hung up on flood defences, when we should be concentrating on how how we manage our rivers and watercourses, flood defences mean you have failed on the first stage of mitigating flooding.

The answer is not to build along big rivers or in valleys. But then history has dictated that that is where building has taken place for many very good reasons.

The answer is to manage our rivers and watercourses properly. The last Labour Government were following the academic review (somebody has already mentioned it).
Interesting analysis -
mainly macro: UK flood prevention: the missing billion

Basically there is nothing anyone can do against the force of nature, especially against its occasional extremes of weather.

We can adapt and mitigate the effects of a warmer climate to a certain degree, which means extremes of weather will become more common as time moves on. At the moment it's a case of patching things up with limited resources. I suspect if these floods had hit the South East then it would have seen the Government getting hammered.

The warmer the climate gets the more moisture it contains, which means more storms with big amounts of rainfall, more often = more flooding. Of course we are in the middle of El Nino event, so that tends to skew the climate on a global scale.

What more could he have done if he had returned early?

Not a lot, I think he only works 3 days a week for that £100,000.

Surely his job is to ensure things are planned and in place in the eventuality of a flood. That's quite a different job to hands-on, directing a live response on a minute-by-minute basis.

His is a management role when things are going smoothly. The Government has pretty much directed the response to the floods. All be it with the Treasury refusing to release funds to help local government in the affected areas get on with helping people. What he does provide is an easy scapegoat for the blame to placed upon for poor decisions made by the Coalition Government and the current Government.

Even if it was, it'd be something he'd be doing over the 'phone/internet, rather than on the ground.

If he'd returned, where would he go?

York, and have the residents of Cumbria complain?

Vice versa?

Steve W

Again all he'd be doing is following instructions from the Government via the Environment Sectary who gets orders ultimately from the Prime Minister. As far as complaints go ? Send them to Cameron and Osborne. They ultimately made the decisions to slash spending on the EA and other vital public services which had to be bolstered by the Army. If we have a country wide flood event, then I doubt we'd be able to cope very well, even with the Armed Forces being used.

We could learn a lot from the Dutch and how they manage flooding. Politics has been taken out of the mix entirely there.
 

Sonic67

Banned
First Redcar, now flooding. Is there anything the EU won't scupper for us?

Flooding cause that the Government would rather keep to itself

That is the almost complete cessation of dredging of our rivers since we were required to accept the European Water Framework Directive (EWF) into UK law in 2000.

So, in order to comply with the obligations imposed on us by the EU we had to stop dredging and embanking and allow rivers to ‘re-connect with their floodplains’, as the currently fashionable jargon has it.

But they all have the same aim, entirely consonant with EU policy, to return rivers to their ‘natural healthy’ state, reversing any ‘straightening and modifying’ which was done in ‘a misguided attempt to get water off the land quicker’. They only think it ‘misguided’ because fast flowing water contained within its banks can scour out its bed and maybe wash out some rare crayfish or freshwater mussel, and that conflicts with their (and the EU’s) ideal of a ‘natural’ river .

So next time you see David Cameron and his MP acolytes swanning around Cumbria in wellingtons, high-viz jackets and hard hats, wringing their hands and promising to do whatever it takes to protect us from flooding, ask them how exactly they intend to get round the European Water Framework Directive.

And they would have to tell you they can’t. Not while we remain in the EU. So any sympathy politicians express for the plight of their constituents is either based on ignorance, or deceit. It’s about time we asked them which it is.
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
There's a lot more to our current flooding issues than dredging not be carried out due to an EU directive, the spending cuts the coalition made to the EA in the last Parliament spring to mind.
We need to take a proper look at how we manage land, rivers, watercourses and where we build housing. This part of Cumbria is an example of what you can do to manage the land to mitigate flooding problems -
Wild Ennerdale | Shaping the Landscape Naturally
 
of course if we were to leave the EU there is nothing to say we would suddenly drop all the regulations and directives.

Some here seem to believe that the EU make up directives just to P**S the British off
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
It could be the newspaper article Sonic67 linked has overstated the case as the media tends to do on the rare occasion.

I have seen dredging being carried out regularly on the River Nene and the Grand Union Canal in Northampton. The Council also regularly clears the banks of reeds and debris. It could be because the river and canal is heavily used by long boats and barges and a certain depth has to be maintained.

However, when I was living in York not once did I see a dredger on the River Ouse and the river is also heavily used by tourist long boats and large river cruisers.
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
of course if we were to leave the EU there is nothing to say we would suddenly drop all the regulations and directives.

We'd probably see a lot of the EU directives that Politicians like being retained through primary legislation. Though I think if we do indeed leave the EU, that should trigger a General Election as new mandate will be required to do what needs to be done. The EU vote alone won't give that, given what has to be done to untangle us from the EU.

Some here seem to believe that the EU make up directives just to P**S the British off

The difference is our politicians tend to implement EU Directives without a lot of fuss, while other EU memberstates take a bit longer. Politicians only complain about EU directives when it angers the Public.

But we could.

We could, but as I said there are likely to be various EU directives that Politicians would probably want to keep. Plus there are a whole host of consumer laws that benefit us all that have origins in EU directives.
------

Back on topic the Pitt Review -
[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Final Report

It's worth reading when one has the time. And also worth noting that the Coalition and current Government have entirely ignored that reports findings. Which the last Labour Government were following and spending money on at appropriate levels.
 

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