Environment Secretary Therese Coffey today faced the wrath of angry residents as she visited flood-hit areas in Nottinghamshire in the wake of Storm Babet.
The Cabinet minister endured a rough reception from locals in Retford as they quizzed her over the Government’s action on flood prevention.
In one tense exchange filmed by Sky News, Lucy Rose told Ms Coffey her property is ‘not a home anymore, it’s just a shell’.
‘It’s not a home anymore… I have to fork out and I have to do all the hard work,’ she said.
Turning to her neighbours, she added: ‘We have to do all the hard work. It’s all on us, we want it all on you now. You’ve got to do it, you deal with it.’
A neighbour later cut in to point out it’s not the first time Retford has suffered flooding woe, after it was previously hit by a deluge in the summer of 2007.
He told Ms Coffey: ‘It’s happened again and now everybody is down again. I’m sorry to say, you’ll go away again… it’ll be swept under the carpet and yet again we’ll be left.’
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey faced the wrath of angry residents as she visited flood-hit areas in Nottinghamshire in the wake of Storm Babet
The Cabinet minister endured a rough reception from locals in Retford as they quizzed her over the Government’s action on flood prevention
A resident with a suitcase walks through flood water in Retford after Storm Babet battered the UK
Hundreds of people have been left homeless with about 1,250 properties in England flooded, according to the Environment Agency
The number of people who have died in the wake of Storm Babet has risen to seven.
Hundreds of people have been left homeless with about 1,250 properties in England flooded, according to the Environment Agency.
A total of 13 areas broke their daily rainfall records for October last week, including sites in Suffolk, South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Wiltshire, Kincardineshire, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Northumberland, Derbyshire and Humberside, the Met Office said.
By this afternoon 107 flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, had been issued, along with 111 flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible.
Anna Calder, spokeswoman for the Environment Agency, said significant river flooding impacts will continue for parts of the Midlands until Friday, with minor impacts continuing in parts of the Midlands and the north-east of England until Wednesday.
During her visit to Retford, Ms Coffey acknowledged how residents were asking ‘why stuff hasn’t happened’ since the last major floods in 2007.
She told Sky News: ‘In that time, between 2015 and 2021 we’ve invested £2.6 billion in flood defences right across the country, that was over 300,000 homes.
‘We’re part way through a programme of spending a further £5.2billion over a six-year time period.’
Ms Coffey added that it may take ‘several months’ for some people to move back into their homes after the flooding.
She said: ‘But let’s see what we can do to try and speed some of that along and that’s why our officials have already been in touch with insurers and similar.’
The Liberal Democrats called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to convene an emergency COBRA meeting in the wake of the damage wreaked by Storm Babet.
Wendy Chamberlain, Lib Dem MP for North East Fife which saw disruption from Storm Babet over the weekend, said: ‘Thousands of lives have been changed this weekend as a result of Storm Babet.
‘Homes have been destroyed and lives have been lost, yet this Government has still not taken action.
‘Rishi Sunak must call a COBRA meeting immediately. Any delay could have a devastating impact on those already displaced and whose lives have been turned upside down following this storm.
‘The Government cannot delay any further, a robust recovery plan needs to be put in place immediately to ensure those affected can begin rebuilding their lives.’