The Government needs to be reactive when it comes to the threat of extreme weather events

The MPs’ report into the Government’s approach to extreme weather events is an eye-opener.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) warns that the Government's approach to strengthening the UK’s resilience to society-wide risks lacks the required robust leadership, oversight and urgency.

The report sums up the Government’s approach at large when it says it is too focused on short-term reactive responses.

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In recent years there have been plenty of reminders of the threats that face Britain when it comes to extreme weather. The past 18 months have been the wettest since records began. Often entire communities have been flooded and farmers are counting the cost of unprecedented levels of rainfall. Just as the country needs to shore up its food security.

A house surrounded by floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster, in 2019. PIC: PAA house surrounded by floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster, in 2019. PIC: PA
A house surrounded by floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster, in 2019. PIC: PA

The PAC report says that local organisations have a critical role in developing the UK’s resilience. And the Government should be looking to empower them given the changing weather patterns.

But the PAC’s inquiry found that central government does not check local plans to see if they are fit for purpose, and does not know if local organisations have the capacity and capability to fulfil their functions effectively.

Let’s not forget many community groups are under pressure when it comes to funding.

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It was less than five years ago that the then Prime Minister Boris Johnson was heckled on a visit to South Yorkshire after the village of Fishlake was struck by major flooding.

Clearly there has been little consideration for extreme weather patterns from the Government since.

And it isn’t just flooding, in 2022 fire departments were stretched thin as a result of wildfires breaking out across the country.

The Government needs to start being reactive to the threat of extreme weather patterns.

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