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UK govt turns down offer to help dealing with the floods from the Netherlands

(39 Posts)
LoveSewingBee Sat 15-Feb-14 10:51:10

Extensive offer of help from individual Dutch Waterschappen (netherlands has a number of waterschappen (water agencies directly funded by tax payer who have to protect their part of the country through rings of dykes, pumps, sluices, flood plains etc etc)) and the Dutch Ministery of Infrastructure and Environment of extensive practical help and expertise. Practical help in the form of moveable dykes, automated sandbagging machines, more pumps etc etc has all been TURNED DOWN by the UK govt. They have told the Dutch govt they are only interested in expertise.

This is reported in today's Volkskrant on their website.

INCREDIBLE... I would think of all things what is most needed is practical help at the moment.

Joysmum Sat 15-Feb-14 10:52:42

I would like to say I don't believe it, but I do. Fucking morons angry

Chippednailvarnish Sat 15-Feb-14 10:56:02

Can you link?

Joysmum Sat 15-Feb-14 10:56:50

Do you have a link to it?

MostlyMama Sat 15-Feb-14 11:02:34

what a joke

LoveSewingBee Sat 15-Feb-14 11:02:35

Can't link from iPad, will go on laptop.

harticus Sat 15-Feb-14 11:03:53

According to DEFRA they have 4 specialist Dutch engineers on Somerset levels and have borrowed 8 high powered pumps.

It is all over the internet - CH4 news and a small bit in Western Daily Press -

AmberLeaf Sat 15-Feb-14 11:05:43

I read days ago that the Dutch were helping already? with pumps.

crunchbag Sat 15-Feb-14 11:06:13

it's in Dutch but it basically says that the government turned down offers for equipment like pumps, emergency dikes and sandbag fillers, but might take the offer on in the future.

crunchbag Sat 15-Feb-14 11:06:54

link fail sorry

LoveSewingBee Sat 15-Feb-14 11:07:22

Here is the link, I will translate later

LoveSewingBee Sat 15-Feb-14 11:08:50

Apparently the Dutch have already been advising and helping on lower levels for weeks but there was a big meeting on Friday in which a big offer was made which was apparently turned down (I just googled and there is lots on it in many different Dutch news papers). Unbelievable.

harticus Sat 15-Feb-14 11:09:11

This is CH4 News

Chippednailvarnish Sat 15-Feb-14 11:10:48

Why is our government so fucking incompetent. angry

LoveSewingBee Sat 15-Feb-14 11:14:07

Harticus link pretty much reflects what is in the Volkskrant tbh, but it is my understanding that the Dutch Waterschappen (they operate independently from the government) and the Dutch government have renewed and upgraded their offer last Friday. Again turned down as apparently there is no need for practical help.

Joysmum Sat 15-Feb-14 11:15:46

Disgusting. Worth making sure this gets as much publicity as possible.

LoveSewingBee Sat 15-Feb-14 11:20:08

Why does the BBC doesn't pick this up?

AnandaTimeIn Sat 15-Feb-14 11:22:41

Belachelijk!! (= ridiculous)........

ForalltheSaints Sat 15-Feb-14 11:22:44

If I lived in Staines or Shepperton, the Somerset levels or any of the other communities affected, I think I'd be pleased of any help, even if it was the Russian or Chinese authorities. At least the Dutch are willing to help- the French newspaper site I read seemed a bit too joyful about the problems here.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Feb-14 11:29:05

Presumably the government turned it down as it would be showing that they were unable to manage by themselves. It would also mean they would get a good look at the parlous state of UK flood management and laugh at us

LoveSewingBee Sat 15-Feb-14 11:32:00

I don't think the Dutch waterschappen (they would be the ones giving practical help as they are engineers) would ever laugh about this.

The Netherlands has had extensive flooding not that long ago as well (I believe 1995, possibly also after that, dk didn't live here at that time). So the Dutch know all too well how awful flooding is.

Chippednailvarnish Sat 15-Feb-14 11:33:23

I'm sure they are already laughing at us.

Well, actually they probably aren't laughing, as they know exactly how devastating floods are, hence probably having the best flood defenses in the world.

AnandaTimeIn Sat 15-Feb-14 11:33:37

Rough translation:

"Brits reject Dutch flooding help"

The help offered by the Dutch "waterschappen" has been turned down by the British. According to Channel 4 they only have preference for expertise.

We let it be known to the British government that we could help on all levels says a female employee of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

The help that was offered consisted of water pumps, emergency dykes and machines capable of filling sand bags.
According to the Ministry, the British only wanted expertise. So they sent a team of dyke experts.

Waterschap Noorderzijlvest, active in parts of Groningen Friesland and Drenthe confirms that they offered help to the tv channel.
Our offer to deliver emergency dykes still stands so if there is a need we can still deliver them quickly.

Waterschap Hunze en AA (??) has offered a machine that can fill 1000 sandbags per hour.
This was also considered not necessary.


Right, that's as far as I've got, gotta jump into the shower and out the door.....

Maybe LoveSewingBee will do the rest? grin

Chippednailvarnish Sat 15-Feb-14 11:33:40

X post!

Nomama Sat 15-Feb-14 11:37:23

tbh I am not sure what that specific extra help would do for us, we've been flooded in for over a month now. Moving the water will just give it to someone else.... we have cleared all field drains and ditches, sandbags are in where necessary, the rest will happen as it happens - it always does.

I appreciate that the good people of Staines are a bit surprised that it has happened to them, but, and I am aware that this will cause some annoyance, pumping water out does not solve the problem, it just moves it. There has to be a concerted effort to provide it with a permanent exit.

And the overflow of sewage pipes is not the governments fault - that is something the various water companies should be paying for. They, after all, took the profits out.

Short term fixes won't help, the focus, even in the middle of the 'crisis' needs to be ling term and preventative. The varied agencies, and individuals, should be suing the data they are collecting to design future fixes. It is what has been happening in this part of the country for years.

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