Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day

Oh, so now the Thames is flooding, and (without wishing to be at all denigrating to those affected) the precious Home Counties constituencies are under threat of excess water, King Canute Cameron is out in his hi-viz jacket promising unlimited money to deal with all this unnecessary water.

Interestingly, one of his own party has been less than complimentary about the Environment Agency.  On his blog I found the following post:

"In 2012-13 the EA spent £1207.4m compared to £1166.6m the year  before. It ended the year with £95.8m cash in the bank. We are told the “cuts” stopped it doing a good job on flooding. How big an increase in spending would it take to qualify as no cut?"

Oh, and I'm not a Tory.

If you look at this site, a whistle-blowing site, you will find countless examples of how money is squandered by office-bound (this seems to be a very loose term) employees whilst those actually out in "the environment" don't get the back-up they need.  The sheer scale of self-certifying hours worked, mileage, abuse of flexitime is stupendous.  There seems to be in excess of one vehicle for every two employees and no fuel cards or suchlike so no checks on when and where fuel is bought.  I'm sure if I tried this HM Revenue & Customs would be down on me like a ton of bricks.

And at the top are figures earning six figure salaries who clearly are not earning them.  These figures are from 2 years ago, but give an idea of the scale of top salaries:

Lord Chris Smith     Chairman                      Environment Agency     £109,999
Graham Ledward    Director of Resources   Environment Agency     £154,999
David Jordan           Director of Operations  Environment Agency     £164,999
Paul Leinster           Chief Executive Officer Environment Agency     £199,999

And then there's the South-West which still has very limited rail links, standing water even on the motorway, and very little prospect of anything changing.

Now, one of my friends spent Christmas Day with wellies on.  I know people whose friends have been isolated, cut off, for over six weeks.  It has become difficult to even talk to some of these people because the sheer scale of lack of sense of help arriving is, quite literally, "doing their heads in".

And to put things into perspective this is what we thought last week.

(I'm just grateful I live half-way up a big hill although, guess what, it's raining again)

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