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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Lib Dem leader in flood-hit city
Sir Menzies Campbell
Sir Menzies has recently called for more spending on flood defences
Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell has criticised the government's flood plans as he visited Hull to see the aftermath of last month's deluge.

He said a lack of government planning had led to a "summer of suffering".

Sir Menzies was in Hull to visit one of the many schools affected by the flooding in June. About 17,000 homes in the city were also damaged last month.

His visit also took in a distribution centre where essential items, such as clothing, are being held.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a 14m relief package for areas devastated by the recent floods when he visited Hull on 7 July.

Last week there were no preparations put in place despite early severe weather warnings
Sir Menzies Campbell, Lib Dem leader

But Sir Menzies said: "In Hull, one in every five houses and 90 out of 105 schools were damaged by flooding earlier this month.

"Now millions of people in the Midlands and South East are finding themselves in a similar position.

"There is no doubt that climate change is going to lead to more extreme weather in this country and the government has a duty to prepare for this and put in place plans to minimise the devastation.

"Yet last week there were no preparations put in place despite early severe weather warnings.

"The government must now give the overall responsibility for flooding to the Environment Agency, put a significant amount of investment in flood defences and learn the lessons from a natural disaster that has caused suffering to millions of families this summer."

Sir Menzies defended his decision to visit Hull a month after the flood.

He said: "I don't think there's any point in politicians getting in the way of emergency services.

"The last thing you need if you are the fire-master trying to cope with flooding is for an MP to turn up in Wellington boots and get in the way.

"It's much better for politicians to wait for a while and come and see the long-term consequences, particularly when the dramatic television pictures have gone."


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