Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A prince on the brink of politics

The Prince of Wales has spent the day in Somerset which has been badly hit, in parts, by flooding for the best part of a month.  The prince toured the Somerset Levels where some villages have seen their roads cut off for weeks - they now rely on boats and tractors to get them to the shops or to take children to school.  And as many residents become increasingly angry at some official responses to their plights, Prince Charles faced reporters' questions on how authorities had dealt with the floods.  Asked if the Environment Agency had done enough he paused and took some strides through the muddy waters that cover the land.  His response was enigmatic enough to verge on the political - you might think that, I couldn't possibly comment, he said.  And he waded on.

Prince Charles in Muchelney, Somerset which has been cut off by flood waters for weeks

The prince is no stranger to controversial comments and his remarks on subjects on areas like architecture have been widely reported.  But the topic of flooding, defences and how the Environment Agency reacts is one of the most hotly debated in the UK at the moment as more heavy rain is forecast and communities across the country are hit by floods.  Charles has also given £50,000 from his Prince's Countryside Fund to emergency funds in Somerset to help pay for emergency repairs.  Residents across Somerset seemed pleased to see the prince and impressed by his concern for their plight.  And Charles' visit to the area has been the main news story across the UK for most of the day as this prince almost wades into politics.

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