For many years, the majority of holidaymakers’ only experience of Somerset was through a car window as they hurtled down the M5 on their way to our more famous neighbours – Devon and Cornwall.
In recent years, however, this has changed. Thanks to the tireless work of the County’s tourism businesses we all know about Somerset’s friendly locals, our iconic landscape, rich history, vast array of products and events including Cheddar Cheese, Scrumpy Cider, Ales, Strawberries, the Wurzels, Glastonbury Festival, and much more – too many to mention!
Somerset has firmly established itself as a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.
But the scenes that have hit TV screens week after week since just before Christmas have shown catastrophic levels of flooding after the wettest winter for a couple of hundred years.
Minister after Minister has donned welly boots and visited Somerset, and as the floodwaters have risen, they’ve been pledging, with ever-increasing urgency, that they will bring the help, the people and the money that is needed to clear up the mess.Read more
Local MP and Lions Club Member Tessa joined fellow members at Clarks Village on Sunday, to collect money for those who have been affected by the floods.
“I was pleased to be able to help with the collection on Sunday. Parts of our county have been submerged for nine weeks now, it’s hard to imagine how exhausting that must be for those worst affected. For my part I will continue to push for action in Parliament and elsewhere.
We are blessed in Somerset with a wealth of well organised and committed local groups like the Lions who play an invaluable role locally, fundraising sums of money and channelling this to those that most need the help.”
Glastonbury and Street Lions Club Treasurer David Atkins said:
“I’d like to thank Tessa for pitching in on Sunday. The Lions in the South West have received a grant for £10,000 from our National association and our total fund will be approaching £20k after this weekend. We will be working with Somerset Community Foundation to ensure that this money goes to individual households on the Levels.
Today we collected £1094 making a total of £2318 over the two days. This means that through various ways Glastonbury and Street Lions and Friends including City of Wells and Crewkerne Lions Clubs have raised a few pounds short of £5k to date in the last ten days and more is planned.
At the time of writing, it’s nine weeks since the first flooding hit Somerset.
For many, homes and businesses have been submerged under floodwater since the first storms before Christmas. For some, this has been a distressing repeat of last year’s events. The misery is indescribable and the resultant chaos impacting on everyday life takes a huge emotional toll.
Add to that the inevitable financial distress when you can’t work, or can’t get to work and it is hard to see how and when life will ever return to normal.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to persuade Government Ministers to demand the Treasury gets a move on, does the right thing and puts in a claim to the equivalent of our insurance company, the European Union.
The Treasury could, and should, stop faffing around and apply for a grant from the regional disaster fund, part of the European Union Solidarity Fund.
The Solidarity Fund was created after severe flooding in Central Europe in 2002, and is designed to respond with grants to Member States after major natural disasters or drought.Read more
Somerset Flooding: Tessa calls on the Government to apply for European disaster funding without delay
Local MP Tessa Munt has called on the Government to apply for a grant from the regional disaster fund, part of the European Union Solidarity Fund, without further delay.
The Solidarity Fund was created after severe flooding in Central Europe in 2002, and is designed to respond with grants to Member States after major natural disasters or drought.
Tessa raised the need to ask for European grant funding when Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government Secretary, was called to the House of Commons to answer questions about the worsening floods faced by Somerset’s residents and businesses.Read more
Tessa met with Defra ministers in London this week to put forward the case for dredging of the rivers and the adjoining rhynes so the whole water catchment area is considered, rather than just the rivers Parrett and Tone.
After welcoming the flooding Minister to Somerset last year, it’s great that we have finally succeeded in getting the Government to agree that dredging is the way forward for Somerset.
“We need to look at the whole area. We have water that can’t get to the pumps and the Axe and Brue valleys have also been affected.
“It affects productive land, such as farmers and anyone who grows and sells their own produce, which is celebrated at great local events like Burnham’s food festival.Read more