Flood victims unhappy over Govt response

Most people living in Somerset, Cornwall, and other areas affected by the recent flooding are unhappy with the Government's response to the crisis, according to a new survey.

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  1. National

Offenders help fill flood sandbags for Somerset Levels

Groups of offenders have been drafted in to help residents on the flooded Somerset Levels by filling hundreds of sandbags.

The Probation Service is supervising the work, which is being carried out by offenders on Community Payback schemes.

Seven offenders shifted 14 tonnes of sand and filled 600 bags on Saturday, while a group of five filled 750 today.

"It is very hard work and everyone's doing a fantastic job," Community Payback team manager Denise Day said.

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  1. National

Vince Cable: 'Vital' to assist flood hit businesses

Business Secretary Vince Cable said has said that is "vital" that business hit by flooding are helped as soon as possible.

He said: "It is vital that small businesses affected by the flooding get assistance as quickly as possible."

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Cable added: "We know the insurance companies are working to process claims as quickly as possible and we will inform local authorities of their allocations from the Business Support Scheme on Thursday to assist businesses with clean-up costs or help them to continue trading."

The number for the Government's Business Support Helpline is 0300 456 3565

  1. National

David Cameron: 'Government is taking action' on floods

David Cameron has said "Government is taking action' on floods as he unveiled a £10 million support package to help small businesses.

The Government is taking action across the board to deal with the clear-up and help hard-working people affected by the floods.

Dealing with these floods will be a long haul, requiring a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together.

We will continue to help the people who need help and protect the communities that need protecting.

– David Cameron

Firms that have been flooded or suffered significant loss of trade will be able to apply for help from the new Business Support Scheme.

Workspace provider Regus is also offering free access to wi-fi and refreshments at its business lounges, while Citrix is temporarily waiving charges for companies to try its GoToMeeting software for communicating face-to-face online.

  1. National

Cameron unveils £10m support for flood hit businesses

David Cameron has unveiled a £10 million package of support for businesses hit by the floods.

Small and medium sized (SME) firms will be able to access funds so that they can meet clean-up costs and keep trading in the wake of the winter storms.

David Cameron talks with farmer Tim Hook near Bampton, in Oxfordshire. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A helpline is also being set up to provide advice, and those who are late filing accounts because of the crisis will not incur penalties.

The Prime Minister said recovering from the brutal weather would be a "long haul", and he wanted to help companies get "back on their feet".

Somerset pumps due to be turned back on

Giant pumps being used to help reduce flooding on the Somerset Levels are expected to be switched back on this morning after being switched OFF all day yesterday.

The Environment Agency noticed that serious damage was being done to the banks of the River Parrett and have turned the pumps off so they could stabilise the ground. The 13 pumps were bought in from the Netherlands and have been in operation since Thursday.

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  1. West Country (E)

Third All-Terrain vehicle arrives in Somerset

The latest All-Terrain vehicle to arrive in Somerset. Credit: Somerset County Council

A third All-Terrain vehicle has arrived in Somerset to help Oath residents stranded by rising floodwater.

The vehicle has been used for the first time today and the county council is working with the community to tailor the service to their needs.

Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, Cllr David Hall, said:

“This new vehicle will join the two BV206 All-Terrain vehicles we already operate for residents from Muchelney, Huntworth and Moorland, as well as our humanitarian boat service.

"It will help transport Oath residents in and out of village, where waters are too deep for 4x4s, as well as delivery essential goods.

We hope it will help the Oath community resume their normal daily lives as much as possible in these extremely challenging times.”

VIDEO: Pumps remove water from King's Sedgemoor Drain

On the Somerset Levels, high volume pumps have begun removing water from King's Sedgemoor Drain.

Specialist equipment has been brought in from the Netherlands to try to ease the pressure on nearby rivers.

Buckingham Palace has announced that the Queen has lent her support, sending cattle feed and fodder from her farms at Windsor.

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