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Cuts to Flood Defence Must Be Reversed as Storm Angus Ravages Country, Demands GMB

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Environmental agency workers needed more than ever as torrential rain and high winds batter UK, union says.

As Storm Angus slams the UK with 70mph winds, torrential downpours and floods GMB demands the EA workers who provide such an important role in flood defence are properly resourced and maintained.

The weather system has battered Britain, causing flash floods which have submerged cars and engulfed homes in some parts of the country.

Fresh bouts of heavy rain and strong wind are expected today – prompting GMB to call on Theresa May to reinstate and protect funding for front line flood defence workers.

In 2014, the Government announced 1,400 job cuts in the department – and has shown no sign or reversing their decision.

Stuart Fegan GMB National Officer said:

“Theresa May must learn the lessons from previous Tory flood failures and keep the Environment Agency properly funded, staffed, and prepared to protect our country.

"The Environment Agency is currently considering the feasibility of outsourcing our lock's and weir's as well as the GMB members who maintain them to the Rivers and Canal Trust.

"Experts have questioned whether the RCT has the capacity to maintain our lock's and weir's in the safe and diligent manner the British public is used to.

"Our cherished lock and weir keepers provide a vital first defence against flood risk on major rivers and inlets and must be maintained to the highest level by the EA to give the best protections against these terrible floods.

"Storm Angus is yet another reminder of the previous stubborn and dangerous commitment to savage cuts in our flood defence personnel."


Notes to editors:

Contact: Stuart Fegan on 07912 890434 or at 

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