Prime Minister gets backlash from flood victims

An angry flood victim confronted Prime Minister David Cameron today as he visited a Kent village seriously affected by the latest storms.

Improved services after David Cameron confrontation

The angry woman who confronted Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday said council services have since improved at her storm-hit village.

Erica Olivares from Yalding in Kent said after the public confrontation with Mr Cameron, rubbish has been collected, street cleaners have been seen in the village and a van with hot food and drink for residents has arrived. She's also been told electricity will return to the village later today.

The video includes an interview with Ms Olivares and part of yesterday's confrontation with Mr Cameron.

Advertisement

Maidstone council criticised over flood defences

Villagers in Kent have criticised Maidstone council over their lack of flood defences following the damage caused to local homes by the storm.

Yalding resident, Erica Olivares, said that her local council had done nothing to help those with severely damaged homes.

In a heated on-camera exchange with the PM, she said: "We still have no electric. We need electric. As I say the council, from Monday we have been trying to contact them, but they have all decided to go on their holidays. Nothing."

It would be nice to have extra money from central government to build someproper flood defences for this part of the country and the county of Kent. This area here in Yalding is very prone to flooding. This is certainly the worst flood that's been in this area for some 30 to 40 years but it does happen far too frequently. The big issue is there needs to be better flood defences built for this part of the Medway river because it's prone to flooding. I think everybody has done everything that they possibly could do to help and support the residents."

– Paul Carter, Kent County Council leader

Cameron's visit to the village where flood damage is 'running into the millions'

David Cameron
David Cameron speaks to villagers in Yalding, Kent Credit: PA Images

When David Cameron visited a flooded Kent village, he didn't expect to come face-to-face with an angry woman who'd been forced out of her home.

In a heated on-camera exchange with the Prime Minister, the unnamed woman said she had been left stranded with no electricity - and efforts to contact her local council in Yalding had been unsuccessful.

Well, today, her local parish council had its say, too.

David Cameron
The Prime Minister chats to villages in Yalding Credit: PA Images

Chairman of Yalding Parish Council Geraldine Brown said residents relied on Sea Scouts with canoes to be rescued.

She said £12 million of damage had been done in Yalding alone, adding that she had asked Mr Cameron for £20,000 for a barrier for the River Beult, a tributary of the River Medway, which runs through the village, to stop future flooding.

David Cameron
David Cameron talks to Environment Agency workers in Yalding Credit: PA Images

Ms Brown said: "We have an emergency plan which went in to action and worked brilliantly. We went knocking on people's doors on Christmas Eve, warning people that this was going to happen, but some people stayed where they were.

"With a flood this size sandbags don't do anything. We could have perhaps had Kent Fire and Rescue a little earlier but you have to remember it is a huge, huge area and we are just one of those areas."

Prime Minister confronted over Maidstone Council's lack of flood help

The Kent resident confronts David Cameron Credit: ITV News

A flood victim in Yalding, Kent confronted the Prime Minister today saying she had been abandoned by Maidstone Borough Council following the storm.

She is among thousands who have lost heating and electricity because of the high winds and heavy rainfall over the festive period.

Erica Olivares collared Mr Cameron live on television as he toured Yalding in Kent, which was one of the villages worst affected by the flooding over Christmas.

The Prime Minister talking to members of the Environment Agency Credit: PA

She said Maidstone Borough Council had left villagers without electricity, while teenage Sea Scouts were drafted in to use their canoes to rescue householders because firefighters were too busy elsewhere.

Ms Olivares said villagers had tried to contact the council but were unable to get through because staff were on their Christmas holidays.

David Cameron speaks to firefighters from the Kent Fire Service Credit: PA

In an angry confrontation with Mr Cameron in front of the television cameras, she said: "We still have no electric. We need electric. As I say, the council, from Monday, we have been trying to contact them, but they have all decided to go on their holidays. Nothing."

National

Angry flood victim confronts PM over council 'inaction'

An angry flood victim confronted the Prime Minister as he visited a village seriously affected by the latest storms.

The unnamed woman said her local council had done nothing to help villagers in Yalding, Kent, where homes were severely damaged in the latest storms.

In a heated on-camera exchange with the Prime Minister, the woman said she had been left stranded in her home with no electricity. He offered to "get on to the council" about the plight and see the damage at her house for himself.

Cameron: 'We've got to do more' to prevent flooding

Latest updates on power outages, flooding and travel disruption

Advertisement

David Cameron's trip to meet flood victims in Kent

David Cameron
David Cameron Credit: PA Images

An angry flood victim confronted Prime Minister David Cameron today as he visited a Kent village seriously affected by the latest storms.

The unnamed woman said her local council had done nothing to help villagers in Yalding, in Kent, where homes were severely damaged.

In a heated on-camera exchange with the Prime Minister, the woman said she had been left stranded in her home with no electricity - and attempts to make contact with her local council had failed.

Speaking to the cameras in Yalding, Mr Cameron said the severity of flooding in the area made it difficult to ensure homes were protected.

He said: ""Sometimes these are very, very tragic events. It is impossible to protect everybody against everything but we have got to do more and we have got to do better."