Di Martin, the Labour Candidate for the Forest of Dean, was out and about at Soudley Ponds the day after the early November heavy rain. The ducks were happy but Cinderford Brook was bursting and the ponds were full right up to the level of the road. The Forest of Dean experienced many flash flooding incidents including a closure of the A40 and many sections of other roads lying temporarily under water. Residents in homes where drainage water passes or collects also had a very wet start to Thursday. Despite all this Gloucestershire was one of the least hit areas of Great Britain by this latest deluge, with Yorkshire being the most publicised, and elsewhere in Europe, Venice seeing its highest water levels for 50 years.
“I’ve lived in the Forest all my life and I can remember clearly how things would have been with heavy rain over the years,” Di says, “This repeated flooding and closure of roads is not something I remember at all. No government of any party has properly invested in the Forest Infrastructure since Margaret Thatcher, now everything is just patched up on a budget. Quite apart from that, we now have a climate emergency. Everybody has known for 30 years about Climate Change, and successive governments have done nothing about it, now in 2019 it’s necessary to stop and make changes before it’s too late. The Labour Party have recently adopted a New Green Deal, they are the first major political party to do so, and in it we plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030. It’s a “whole economy” plan which won’t just put up the price of polythene bags, it’ll make big changes but ensure continued growth because it’s a whole country solution. We as a party are not in the pay of the huge corporate giants who are of course the real resistance to change. People of my generation should not be thinking of themselves over this issue, we should not vote to keep the status quo thinking that we’ll be alright. We should think about our children and their children and this wonderful green planet on which we have been fortunate enough to evolve as a species.”
Politicians usually spend a whole election campaign trying desperately to appeal to “floating voters” ie the people who are not pre-programmed to vote for one political party. If this unrelenting rain is allowed to continue a lot more voters may be floating…for all the wrong reasons.