ON January 4, the Hereford Times led with ‘Storm Henk deluge brings floods chaos’ while my national daily, the Morning Star print edition led with ‘It’s high time government woke up to the climate emergency.

Firefighters demand emergency funding as thousands evacuated across Britain’.

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The Star explained that funding for the Environment Agency has been axed by two thirds since 2010, with more than 2,000 jobs cut.

“In the call for emergency funding, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack said: “When floods threaten people’s homes, lives and livelihoods, it’s firefighters who step in to protect communities,” it read.

“Storm Henk follows a winter of storm after devastating storm and more is to come.”


The following week’s Hereford Times cover aerial photograph of the town centre, highlighting Henk’s impact on Herefordshire, was backed up with inside content from various parts of our geographically large county and was probably paralleled with similar newspaper coverage in other regions. 

And so, also in the January 11 issue, North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin thanked the emergency workers, saying that individual Environment Agency workers did well but stated disappointment with Environment Agency managers.

For such a large impact on a ‘little’ island – little in terms of the storm’s overall path – I expect that managers were wondering how and where to best deploy staff.

So may I suggest that our two MPs meet with members of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue workers, not just their usual allies?