(not satire – it’s the Tories!)

Flood-hit residents in Christchurch Dorset have been told by their Tory-run Council that they have to buy sandbags at £30 for a pack of four.

They have twice written to their MP – Conservative Christopher Chope – to request a meeting to explain their frustrations, but he has ignored them.

Here’s the story reproduced in full from the Bournemouth Echo:

Angry residents blast council
ANGRY residents in a flood-hit flat block have blasted a “total lack of support” from Christchurch council and their MP, writes Melanie Vass.

Residents in Conifer Close – some of whom were evacuated on Christmas Day – say they are the “forgotten corner” of Christchurch and living in fear of further flooding.

While PM David Cameron promises that “money is no object” when it comes to helping flood victims, Conifer Close residents have had to buy their own sandbags and plastic sheeting.
They have also asked for help from their MP Chris Chope, but say he has not accepted their invitations to visit them.

Steve Richards, whose dad Ken has been living with him since Christmas, said they requested sandbags from Christchurch council last week but were told they would have to purchase them at £30 for a pack of four.

“My brother bought 50 at an incredibly high cost but 50 sandbags goes nowhere,” he said. “We feel so helpless, pleading for help and no-one’s giving it, yet you switch on the television and the Prime Minister is pledging that no-one will be left vulnerable and money’s no object.”

Paul Richards, a resident at the Stourbanks flats, was told it was not Christchurch council policy to issue sandbags or plastic sheeting. He said: “We’ve tried repeatedly over the past seven weeks to get some help, we’re in a desperate position now and we need the most basic help. It’s like living in the Lost World.”

The Stourbanks Residents’ Association has spent £750 on sandbags but residents are now just waiting to see whether this will be enough.

Judy Betteridge, secretary of the association, has written to the Prime Minister to tell him of their frustrations. She has also twice invited their MP Mr Chope to visit them.

“I know we’re probably very small fry compared to what’s going on in the country but nevertheless these are our homes,” she said. “We feel very much we are on our own down here.”

And Colin West, treasurer of the association, said: “We’ve been pushed from pillar to post. Everybody here is over 75 – I’m nearly 90 – and yet we’ve had very little support. People are very frustrated.”

Attempts were made to contact Mr Chope but he was unavailable for comment.


Not very surprising really when you recall that Mr Chope is the Tory MP who recently referred to staff in the House of Commons as ‘servants’.


Related articles by Tom Pride:

Cameron ‘forgets’ to apply for EU money to help flood victims

Building supplier cashes in on misery and raises prices of sandbags in flood hit area

Cameron’s response to the flooding in a nutshell

Coalition cut flood defence by 27% – Labour increased flood defence by 33%

Cameron announces plan to reduce flooding by forcing it to work in Poundland

Cameron responds to floods crisis by holding a meeting. Named after a snake.


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