Jump to content
Complete France Forum

Hang on a minute, Mr Cameron!


mint

Recommended Posts

Far be it for me, a lowly retired person and one moreover who no longer even lives in the UK, to question the Prime Minister of Great Britain (yes, that's the official name; I have heard it all week from Sochi).

Speaking about flood-related activities, Cameron said that money was "no object", "we are a wealthy nation", what needs to be done will be done, what resources need to be provided will be provided and on and on.....................into infinity and beyond.

Call me simple-minded but wasn't it only recently that the Chancellor himself was talking about how we are hardly out of recession, why welfare cuts are needed as we can no longer afford to pay benefits, and so on and so forth.

So, which is it?

We are well-off, have limitless resources, money, personnel...........why worry about the little matter of a few feet of water in your homes (implied statement)?  We will kiss it all better.

Or are we "all in this together", we are broke, do you not know there is a financial crisis going on, we have to suffer en masse, we cannot be complacent, all our schools, our hospitals our (fill in your own word) will have to have their budgets revised.

Wish there could just be some small degree of consistency......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sweets, please keep quiet, I am going to transfer some money over to France and the line put out by the PM is show the world Britain can cope! keeping the exchange rate up.

Yes there is always money available for a new stable door once the horses have left,  Sensible pro active (management BS term) would have listened and implemented a long time ago minimising the headache but still we have a nice bird sanctuary somewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not all plain sailing!

Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, says there is no "blank cheque" for flooding relief despite Prime Minister's promise that money is "no object".

Politicians will say what they think people want to hear. Why is no one blaming the government for the wind? The next thing will be they have not done enough to protect those that live on hills from the damaging effect of the high winds we are currently suffering!

There are about 25 million houses in the UK, 6000 are affected by the flooding (0.024%). Most are in the richer part of the country, so the political fall out is more important than the statistics. I contrast the people I see on the French news who seem to realise that if you live in a flood plain it will flood. They seem to get on with it without the "blame game" mentality the seems prevelant in the UK.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly don't think that the Somerset levels can be called a ''richer part of the country''. The Thames valley possibly - in parts.

The somerset levels have not flooded to this degree for hundreds of years because drainage and river flow capability were maintained over the centuries, Whilst it is acknowledged that some degree of limited flooding does happen it tends to dissipate in days rather than the expected months.

The effect on the productive agricultural land will be horrendous, Grass land that has been submerged for many weeks will be dead. It will need re-seeding and a full year to grow back to a grazing capability. Cattle have already been slaughtered because of lack of feed and space, the result could well be a rise in food prices.

By all sensible social norms it is the responsibility of Government to maintain the countries ability to produce food and the fact is that a Government Dept has been wilfully negligent for whatever reason.

It is disingenuous to compare the flooding situation with high winds. No-one blames the Government for the rain but rather for the lack of river etc maintenance to cope with the rain.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The government has no money. If they spend millions on road clearing equipment and it does not snow, they are castigated for wasting our money they collect in taxes. This is exceptional weather and people have, imo, become complacent in assessing the risks to live in nicer areas, flat with good views. One can only imagine the howls in the Thames valley if they were to build realistic flood barriers for 100 year storms and those potentially affected had to pay for it!

Look at the recent complaints in the North of England when it was suggested that new builds should incorporate run off water captive areas. This would push up the price of new developments to help prevent the problem we are seeing. Deforestation and wholesale removal of hedges and smaller fields plus massive monoculture further the problem (both in UK and in France (this is still a French Forum?). Each year my (French) village suffers a flash flood caused by the very actions of the farmers to increase by a small percentage the yield of their fields. I joined the council to combat their complacency and its been an uphill battle to achieve anything. We have built a water retention pond just for the rain run off from a new small housing estate to avoid the drains being over swamped. I have seen it work once in 10 years - 15 meters by 15, 2 deep and it filled up in 15 mins after 30 mins of rain. We all thought it was a white elephant until then!! There is nothing wrong with the UK Government stance of food production. If the statistics are to be believed, a third of all food produced is wasted. The farmers could reduce their production if people could act responsibly instead of blaming it on the Government.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Lehaut"]The government has no money. If they spend millions on road clearing equipment and it does not snow, they are castigated for wasting our money they collect in taxes. This is exceptional weather and people have, imo, become complacent in assessing the risks to live in nicer areas, flat with good views. One can only imagine the howls in the Thames valley if they were to build realistic flood barriers for 100 year storms and those potentially affected had to pay for it!

Look at the recent complaints in the North of England when it was suggested that new builds should incorporate run off water captive areas. This would push up the price of new developments to help prevent the problem we are seeing. [/quote]

SUDS has been a part of building regulation for a few years now and because of EU regulations it must continue and get cleaner.  The point of flood defences is also not to channel all the water out to sea but build more reservoirs in order to supply the ever growing population and housing market with water they need or face hose pipe bans at each turn.  Problem is reservoirs have been sold off and developed in other ways. It's a little island and it's full, where is Nigel Farage?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Frederick"]The European Union Solidarity Fund has loads of money............Floods are what its there for 

[/quote]

But I understand that if the UK Government applies for it they will lose 1/3rd of their EU rebate.

Local areas can however apply but I am not sure of the "cost" of such receipt of monies.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="sweet 17"]

[quote user="Théière"] It's a little island and it's full, where is Nigel Farage?

[/quote]

Indeed, Teapot, what I feel when I look at the map of Europe is just how small the British Isles are![:-))]

[/quote]

Small is beautiful - when it's not raining 24/7

Quality not quantity[;-)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to be a British trait - spending fortunes on fixing things rather than spending enough to make them better in the first place. The roads are a case in point. And house construction - Scandinavians are amused by the efforts we make to insulate homes with secondary measures, rather than build them (at only marginally greater cost due to economies of scale) with far better insulation methods to begin with. But according to Ministers speaking today, this government is now going to ensure that any money spent on flood prevention measures will use the latest technology to provide best long term value. Only 50 years after Germany adopted that policy.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Cendrillon"][quote user="sweet 17"]

[quote user="Théière"] It's a little island and it's full, where is Nigel Farage?
[/quote]

Indeed, Teapot, what I feel when I look at the map of Europe is just how small the British Isles are![:-))]

[/quote]
Small is beautiful - when it's not raining 24/7
Quality not quantity[;-)]
[/quote]

Agreed, Cinders!

But, maybe, small is also vulnerable?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Alan Zoff"]It seems to be a British trait - spending fortunes on fixing things rather than spending enough to make them better in the first place. The roads are a case in point. And house construction - Scandinavians are amused by the efforts we make to insulate homes with secondary measures, rather than build them (at only marginally greater cost due to economies of scale) with far better insulation methods to begin with. [/quote]

Sorry but I think that is a bit misleading. Modern houses in the UK have to be built to certain high energy efficient standards. The UK has a far greater housing stock than scandinavian countries and a lot of it is 100 years or more old. Are you seriously suggesting we knock everything down and replace it with energy efficient homes. No, I didn't think so. Even in scandinavia they retrofit older properties although admitedly they were built to a higher insulation specifications at the time because the weather there is a lot colder in general than the UK when they were built plus 100 years ago the UK had cheap fuel i.e. coal in abundance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't say anything about knocking down existing houses but I certainly feel a lot more could be done to improve the efficiency and quality of new builds, even if current standards have improved. An architect in Birmingham had spent a lot of money making his house fantastically efficient (so much so, he hardly needed to heat it at all) and although I can't recall the precise figures, I think he had calculated that to reach the same standard with new builds, if done "en masse", would increase the cost by just a few pounds per square metre. Similarly, every new house should where possible have significant rain water collection built into its construction. We might have more water than we want at present but how long before the next hose-pipe ban? But no, we must keep sticking bricks together with cement, pasting the inside walls with plaster, and covering roofs with hundreds of individual tiles because that's the way it's done in the UK.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alan whilst I agree with what you are saying, it is happening. There are entire estates being built with very high standards of insulation, Passivhaus standards, obviously there are also ones that just about reach the current required levels too but that's because the government have relaxed regulation for the big boys (don't mention the old boy network) and they are allowed to self certify that they meet the regs which I can absolutely state they do not but who am I.

New builds as stated previously must use the SUDS regulations for collection of rainwater and those regs are tightening.  I think that bricks are ok, better that than your house blowing away as in America etc but better insulation also requires better training for the builders/installers.  I hate clay/concrete roof tiles what a load of centuries old rubbish they are but we also have issues with building control officers who won't allow this or that but a few years down the road and it's all the rage, that is where so many bottlenecks are, there are ares that have crappy Crittal and worse single glazing and they are "conservation areas" why conserve something so utterly bad or is that to serve as a warning of how not to do it?   I hate plasterboard,. it's soft breaks too easily and moisture does it in.  Something like Fermacell for example is much more resilient and waterproof (the aquatic centre in the Olympic park used it as plasterboard would have fallen apart. 

Other countries are slower to take notice like france, they have only just begun to use some products which we have been using for a long time.  I would love to knock down our old house and rebuild it to modern standards but just face it with stone to make it fit in the the old area look

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...