Extreme weather brings misery

AS BRITAIN'S dreadful summer continues bringing tragedy and heartbreak across the country, everyone will be hoping for a respite from the heavy rain.The Ipswich area and south east Suffolk has escaped the worst of the weather - although northern parts of the county have suffered serious problems.

AS BRITAIN'S dreadful summer continues bringing tragedy and heartbreak across the country, everyone will be hoping for a respite from the heavy rain.

The Ipswich area and south east Suffolk has escaped the worst of the weather - although northern parts of the county have suffered serious problems.

But our problems have been minor in comparison with the dreadful scenes from Yorkshire and the midlands where the unrelenting rain has caused major misery and has left thousands fearing that a dam could burst and flood their homes.

Helicopter crews from Wattisham Airfield have been heavily involved in the rescue attempts and their determination to do all they can under such difficult circumstances reflects great credit on these heroes.


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Of course when we are battered by so much extreme weather, people will be asking whether climate change is to blame.

Is the human race responsible for creating the conditions which allow this kind of torrential rain to cause such chaos?

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Scientists are divided. Some think extremes like this, and last year's baking July, are the result of centuries of polluting the atmosphere.

Others point out that there have been serious bouts of bad weather throughout history - during the middle ages Britain was warmer and wetter than it is now and between 1700 and 1850 the planet experienced a “mini ice age” which saw the Thames freeze many times.

Whatever the cause, we must accept that extreme weather - either serious heatwaves like last summer or torrential rain like we are suffering today - is a fact of life in this country.

HARRIET Harman's election as Labour deputy leader will go down well in Ipswich where MP Chris Mole and former county council leader Bryony Rudkin were keen backers of the London MP.

Her victory is also a welcome boost for Labour Party activists who are opposed to the war in Iraq and the proposed replacement of the Trident missile system. The party has shown its radicals still have teeth, voting down more “Blairite” candidates like Hazel Blears.

And Mr Mole, who lost his government post after calling for Mr Blair to stand down last year, now sees his chances of returning to the front bench improve dramatically.

Party members in Ipswich will be hoping that the new leadership team maintains its promise to listen to the grassroots and not lose touch with the feeling on the ground as Mr Blair and his team has over the last few years.

CLUMPFIELD has been an eyesore on the Chantry estate for years so it is very good news that 50 “affordable” homes are to be built their by the Orwell Housing Association.

Not only will the work tidy up the estate, it will also provide new homes for 100 people on the borough's housing waiting list.

That represents a win-win situation for Chantry . . . and the town as a whole.

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