|ILG gets down and damp amongst his people|
Delegates to Bridgwater & District Trades Union Council reacted angrily to the sight of local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger joining flood victims protesting outside the Environment Agency in Bridgwater on Friday. Said a spokesperson: “Liddell-Grainger would be better off protesting against his own Government which has helped to cause this devastation. How dare he focus the blame on Environment Agency workers, who have struggled to carry out their duties in the face of Government cuts? The Tories have slashed £800 million from the country’s flood defence budget. Why doesn’t Liddell-Grainger protest about that?"
A recent appeal from Somerset County Council for more funding to deal with the devastation to flood-hit communities has been refused by the Government. Why doesn’t Liddell-Grainger sort that out first?”
Proposals recently announced to cut Environment Agency staff levels by a further 15% will mean the Environment Agency will be even less able to protect the public from flooding and pollution risks.
'Crazy Short term thinking'
These cuts follow 20% cuts to flood defence staff between 2010-2013, and come despite growing evidence of the impact of climate change, and the fact that Environment Agency staff dealing with pollution risks are now faced with the challenges of climate change, fracking and new nuclear build. A spokesperson said: "This is crazy, short term thinking."
Across the country, these cuts could end up costing £7.88 billion in flood-related damage.
Instead, Liddell-Grainger reserves his ire for Environment Agency flood defence staff, many of whom have been called out to help flood victims for the second Christmas running. Despite years’ worth of real-term pay cuts, Liddell-Grainger, a direct descendant of Queen Victoria, who owns his own castle and has in the past been criticised for claiming over £100 000 in expenses, calls Environment Agency staff “feather-bedded” on his personal web-site!
The targets of Mr Liddell-Grainger’s action are ordinary workers, many his own constituents.
Public Apology demanded
Bridgwater & District Trades Union Council request that Mr Liddell Grainger issues a public apology for his attack on the staff of the Environment Agency. Furthermore, we fully support Environment Agency workers in their campaign to stop the cuts, draw attention to the way these cuts may endanger the public and call upon anyone concerned to write to their MP, or email via http//www.theyworkforyou.com/
A public meeting is being arranged in Bridgwater on 27th February. For details contact Secretary D Chapple 01278 450562