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Flood victims in the north of England left high and not-so-dry by the government are desperately resorting to using bin bags filled with soil to protect their homes and businesses from the rising flood waters.

The lack of sand bags for use by the general public comes after the government’s Environment Agency (EA) refused a free loan of water barriers from a flood protection company.

One water barrier can be deployed in 2 minutes and is equivalent to around 500 sandbags.

In a post to a page for flood victims on Facebook, Simon Crowther from Flood Protection Solutions – the firm which offered the free loan of the water barriers:

“We tried our utmost to help, and offered all our demo stock of Water-Gate barriers and pumps to the Environment Agency on Christmas Eve – free of charge on loan. They declined.”

In the words of one York resident:

“If we’d known these were available we would have made good use of it … instead had to resort to bin bags filled with soil.”

No explanation has been given by the EA for its refusal of the free loan.

Could this shocking lack of concern and utter incompetence by the government be connected with the fact that the head of the EA, Sir Phillip Dilley – appointed by David Cameron to the job just 4 months ago – has been busy sunning himself at his Caribbean home while the crisis has been unfolding?

And the Chancellor George Osborne is going to rake in millions from flooding after refusing to cut VAT on flood repairs …