To dredge or not to dredge?

Widespread flooding across the country has been marked by calls for rivers to be dredged - but not everyone agrees.

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Government grant for homeowners to tackle future flooding

People could be eligible for up to £5,000 under the grant Credit: PA

The government has announced that people whose homes and businesses were flooded between 1 December and 31 March can now apply for a government grant of up to £5,000 through their local authority, regardless of where they live.

Dan Rogerson the Environment Minister the government is encouraging anyone who has been flooded to apply for a grant to become more flood resilient.

Floods cost Worcestershire farmer more than £61k

Stephen Watkins' farm was badly affected by the flooding Credit: ITV News Central

A farmer in Worcestershire says he is more than £61,000 out of pocket because of this year's floods.

Stephen Watkins, who has a farm in Severn Stoke, has cleared three of his fields, but still has 53 more to go.

Read more: Stephen Watkins says dredging rivers would ease future flooding problems

Stephen Watkins' farm looked like this a month ago Credit: ITV News Central

Later today, the Farming Minister, George Eustice MP, will appear before a select committee to answer questions about the recent floods.

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Around £700k ploughed into fixing potholes after floods

Around £700,000 has been ploughed into repairing thousands of potholes plaguing Worcestershire roads after the recent floods.

Thousands of potholes have been fixed in Worcestershire since the start of the year
Thousands of potholes have been fixed in Worcestershire since the start of the year Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

So far this year, the team at the county's highways department has filled in around 6,400 potholes - though had to wait until the waters receded before they could tackle the most recent weather-damaged sections of road.

Last year, around 27,000 potholes were fixed by the county council - and leaders have now urged anyone who spots any damage on the roads to get in touch.

Hylton Road in Worcester at the height of the floods last month
Hylton Road in Worcester at the height of the floods last month Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Highways chief Councillor John Smith said:

Our teams have been working hard all year, with the pace accelerating a few weeks ago when the flood recovery work began.

Inspections and repairs have increased and this will continue as we fix the inevitable problems caused by the heavy rainfall and flooding we've experienced so far this year.

I'd like to say thank-you to everyone that's been in touch and reported any problems they spot. Please continue to let us know.

To report a problem, visit the council's highways page.

Midlands employment boosted by recent floods

The recent floods in the Midlands has provided an unexpected boost to employment
The recent floods in the Midlands has provided an unexpected boost to employment Credit: Richard Vernalls/PA Wire

The recent flooding in the Midlands has given an unexpected boost to employment.

A survey by recruitment firm Manpower says the increase in demand for builders and other tradesmen and women has boosted the industry by an estimated £250m.

According to the survey, both the West and East Midlands had an Employment Outlook of 7% compared to a national average of 6% for the first quarter. This means both regions indicate positive hiring intentions from firms for the second quarter of 2014.

Krissie Davies, Operations Director of Manpower UK said:

“This has been another strong quarter for the West Midlands, outperforming the national average and delivering jobs particularly in the finance, media, manufacturing and insurance sectors."

"The East Midlands has always been strong when it comes to customer service opportunities and this is where we have seen a lot of the growth that has resulted in the uplift in confidence for the coming quarter.

"However there are still some gaps that are creating skills shortages for employers. In the finance sector employers are struggling to find workers with the relevant pensions experience and similarly, in the legal sector candidates from the legal admin side who are most in demand."

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PICTURES: Trees removed from river in Worcester

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