Politicians call for action after floods cause havoc in the UK

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Pizza Hut restaurant surrounded by flood water in Chesterfield, UK.

Politicians in the United Kingdom have started calling for action after months of heavy rainfall have left parts of Britain in crisis from flooding and electricity and water shortages. Environment Agency chief executive Baroness Young has called for an increased budget of around £1 billion a year to pay for flood defenses. Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has suggested that the conditions were 'unprecedented', and would overwhelm even the best flood defenses, but said that the Environment Agency's capital expenditure would be increased from £600m to £800m by 2010/11.

Opposition leaders have similarly called for more money to be spent on flood defenses. Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell suggested that the flood risk was known about before it happened, and questioned the degree of preparedness in place.

Conservative leader David Cameron has called for a public inquiry into the crisis. The Conservative shadow Environment Secretary criticised a 'lack of clarity' in the command of clean up operations, and MP John Redwood has asked why the army was not mobilised in support.

The Government has ordered a Cabinet Office review of the flooding events.

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