MOST of us are looking forward to unwrapping our presents or tucking into Christmas dinner, but spare a thought for villagers in Cannington who can’t stay at home because their houses are still affected by flooding.
Cannington was one of the parts of Somerset worst hit by the deluge a month ago, and some homes in the Northbrook and South-brook areas of the village are still not habitable, and standing water remains a problem.
Ian Dyer, of Blackmore Farm in Cannington, contacted Sedgemoor District Council, which owns a row of pre-fab garages in the Northbrook area, and persuaded it to remove two vacant garages which were acting like a dam and causing water to run into people’s homes.
Mr Dyer, himself a district councillor, also organised the removal of hedges behind the garages to create a stream to divert water away from homes on to a nearby field.
He said he did not ask the authorities first, but said: “I decided we had to get on with it.
“We had the permission of the land owner, but if we’d told the authorities we wanted to pull down a hedge the Environment Agency would have got involved, and Natural England, and it would have been six months before anything got done.
“I told the chairman of the parish council I’d take the rap for it, but there has been no comeback so far.
“I’ve had lots of positive comments from people in the village, thanking me for getting something done.
“It’ll only help two or three houses, but even if it only helped one it would be worth it.”
Mr Dyer said there were families in the village unable to stay at home this Christmas because of flood damage, and others who were unable to use certain rooms where carpets or furniture have been ruined.
“It’s heartbreaking to think there are people who can’t stay at home at Christmas,” he said.
The Environment Agency says it is committed to a £2million flood defence scheme in Cannington, starting in early 2014.
It will be helped by a £500,000 contribution from EDF Energy as mitigation for its Hinkley C power station project.