| || |
Prince Charles is on a visit to flooded rural areas of the UK Tuesday. According to officials the visit has been planned for some time. Charles can expect a verbal ear bashing by locals who have been left far from high and dry by inept government planning -- on the contrary they have been left under several feet of polluted water for weeks.
Reporting on the Prince's planned visit to the area Sky News writes Tuesday "The Prince of Wales [Charles] will tour villages on the Somerset Levels today to meet residents battling to cope with major flood damage. Prince Charles is due to visit residents in the village of Muchelney - which has been cut off by floodwater for a month - and farmers at Langport. The Somerset Levels have seen some of the worst flooding in recent weeks, with villages surrounded by water and hundreds of homes and businesses affected. The area has also seen growing anger from residents who say they have been let down by the Government and the Environment Agency (EA)."
The cynic in me wonders if this visit was really already on the cards. Will Prince Charles also visit urban areas that have been affected? We know that he has a special bond with the rural community, owning great chunks of land in Cornwall and beyond.
He is in some ways a 'gentleman farmer' himself.
For farmers there is the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), a body that may help financially, but no such luck for town and city dwellers in England.
Will Charles get more financial help for farmers? Will he resolve the insurance quandry for flood victims in the UK?
Ministers continue to lay the blame at each others' doors. We may not be able to control the weather but how we respond to extreme weather and plan is crucial.
We are one country England, and whether it is a rural community or an urban one flooding brings pain. In a worst case scenario it brings death.
It is time for ministers to step up to the mark and stop babbling on.
A tory minister's point of view on the UK flooding - What the Today programme should have asked the Environment Agency
On the other hand:
Flood response in Somerset took 'too long', Labour claims