I’m joined now by Preet Gill, the Labour MP
for Edgbaston, one of the worst affected areas in Birmingham, as we heard in Caroline’s report
there. Good afternoon to you Preet. Let’s just talk about some of the devastation we’ve
managed to film in your area. What are constituents coming to you with? What are they facing?
What are their worries? Well yes, as you’ve just indicated, the constituency of Edgbaston
has been absolutely hit. There’s been roads that were closed that obviously people were not able to drive safely through. We saw cars being abandoned. Buses being quite stuck.
Homes being flooded, and that was pretty much, I mean I went out yesterday as well into the
constituency to see the level of concerns that people were raising with me through Facebook
and on Twitter. I Tweeted and said that actually, if only necessary, people should really not be driving. And
we know that the Amber warnings still in place from the Met Office. Are you satisfied enough
is being done to protect properties from further rainfall like this? There’s been a clear-up,
the Council have already started, from last night, to be out and clearing the debris, working with Severn
Trent, where there are clear concerns around drainages that are quite unsafe. The Council
have said they will look at the weather warning for the rest of the week and make sure that
where sandbags are needed, for example, or other services are required that they will
be willing to that, but we know that year on year there is a lot of rainfall and flooding
and it’s continuing to happen. And we need a long-term strategy to make sure we address
this. I was going to push you on that next, just to widen it out a bit, because we had
the same problems in Essex a couple of years ago I can tell you that because my home was
completely devastated and so were hundreds of others. It was described as a one-off.
It might happen again in three years’ time or maybe ten years’ time. We’re not coping
are we with the changing climate? Are you going to take this up in Parliament? Are you
going to be asking what more can be done to protect properties as the weather changes?
Don’t worry about your daughter, if she wants to come on television, that’s absolutely fine.
Hello! You’re absolutely right, there is an opportunity now to talk to the water companies,
as there is with the Council. We need to have a longer-term strategy. What are we going
to do in the next twenty years? What kind of investments are required? We know this
is happening. We see drains consistently not being able to cope with the level of rainfall
we have. We can’t just say that this is a one-off incident. Because we know that this
continues to happen actually and you’re absolutely right, we do need a longer-term strategy.
And I will be pushing, certainly the water companies, and the Council, to come together
and actually look at this wider, because the West Midlands seems to be consistently affected.
It’s not just about us, it’s for the future generations like your daughter there as well isn’t
it? Preet, many thanks. I’ll let you get back to keeping her occupied this Bank Holiday
Monday. Many thanks. Preet Gill there, MP for Edgbaston.