» Thursday, July 26, 2007


The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the press that there was a Written Statement coming from Hilary Benn this afternoon that would give Parliament a full update of the situation on floods and where we were on drinking water, sanitation, weather, the recovery operation and financial assistance for those affected.

Asked if health was now becoming an issue, and was the Department of Health now getting involved, the PMS said that the Department of Health had always been involved, and they had attended COBR meetings from the beginning. Clearly, there were some issues which had been around and picked up by some papers today, but on that, the Health Protection Authority would be the lead agency. They were actively involved on the ground and were providing guidance to people in terms of what they should do if they had concerns about this. It was best that the public remained in touch with what the Health Protection Authority were saying.

Asked for more detail on Hilary Benn’s written statement, the PMS replied Hilary Benn set out what had happened over the past week and what the Government response had been. First in relation to the issues in Gloucestershire, both in relation to the water treatment works at Mythe and the power station at Walham. He had set out what had been done to ensure there had been adequate water supplies in the area, as well as the latest situation regarding electricity supplies and supplies of tap water in the area.

Asked if we were going to increase the budget for flood defences, the PMS replied that Hilary Benn had already announced the increase in spending on flood defences up to 2010/11.

Asked for further information on Hilary Benn’s statement on the floods, the PMS replied that clearly, the situation had been serious. There were still issues and concerns in relation to some parts of the country as the floods had moved east down the Thames, and Hilary Benn had been in Oxford, so would have been able to have updated the Cabinet on the situation in Oxford and other areas.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news

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