THE Prime Minister’s flying visit to Gloucestershire was welcome and it is to be hoped that he took away with him two important messages.
Firstly that the Government needs to continue to provide financial support to ensure that embattled communities cannot only recover from floods but protect themselves in the future.
And secondly that, if needs be, he must intervene personally to ensure that the current impasse over insuring at-risk homes does not become a full-blown crisis.
If he needed any evidence as to why such actions are crucial, he need only look at what has happened over the last few days in Tewkesbury.
Sadly, we’re reporting again on significant flooding in places like Tirley and Mythe Road.
The floods have not reached the proportions of 2007 but, had work not been done in the wake of what happened five years ago, the situation today would clearly have been worse.
The new flood wall at the Mythe Water Treatment Works did its job but the site could have been threatened but for the millions spent on protecting it.
Elsewhere in the country, entire towns that did not believe they were at risk have discovered just how quickly they can be devastated.
When that happens, the state has to get directly involved, whether that is by financial investment or by ensuring that people can afford to insure their homes when the big clean-up is complete.
Value for money
A TALKING shop or a vital part of ensuring the views of residents are heard?
People have different views on the value of parish councils as calls are made for them to expand in part of Cheltenham.
Those areas of the borough that don’t have them survive, but there’s no doubt they give local communities a voice.
Borough councillors do not believe a case has been made to expand councils in Charlton Kings, Leckhampton and Up Hatherley at present.
And with a cost of more than £3,600 just to ask residents if they are interested, it’s probably a sound decision.
Some councillors aren’t convinced residents are getting value from current parish councils and that case needs to be made before any more money is spent.