UK weather: Cold snap on the way as southwest continues to face flooding risk

Yesterday the Environment Secretary said Somerset Levels residents were ‘right to be angry’

The UK is set for a cold snap this week, with forecasters warning of temperatures that will feel significantly colder those experienced recently, and snow showers spreading across the country.

Severe weather warnings for ice and rain have been issued by the Met Office, and the Environment Agency has flood warnings in place for the south and southwest going into Wednesday.

Forecasters from MeteoGroup said the unsettled start to the week will give way to a "cold and gloomy day" tomorrow, while Thursday is expected to be "less breezy but very cold".

While significant snowfalls have been forecast for higher ground across Scotland throughout the week, a band of rain and occasional snow showers will affect most of the east of Britain tomorrow and Thursday.

Temperatures are set to drop below freezing on Wednesday night, and the mercury is unlikely to climb above 5C even in the warmest regions during Thursday.

With winds picking up towards the end of the week, some parts of Scotland and northern England could feel as cold as -7C on Friday morning.

Despite the more settled, colder conditions, some persistent rain is still expected in southern regions. Yesterday, the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson visited the heavily flooded Somerset Levels and said residents there were “quite right to be angry” about the situation.

This morning Jean Venables, the chief executive of the Association of Drainage Authorities, blamed a lack of investment in flood defences for turning the Levels into a "disaster area".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, she said: "It's a disaster area down there and it could have been avoided if we had actually kept up with maintenance on the rivers.

"We've got a 20-year backlog of inactivity down there and it is actually very, very urgent that those rivers are dredged."

Ms Venables said that properly maintained flood plains would have drained away the excess water "within a matter of days", and added that "we've got to manage it better than we are at the moment".

During Mr Paterson's visit, furious residents described living in "third world" conditions - with "overflowing" septic tanks and water in their homes.

Mr Paterson promised that a new plan to deal with flooding in the region would be drawn up within six weeks, "almost certainly" involving a project to clear the Parrett and Tone rivers.

"They are quite right to be angry," Mr Paterson told Sky News. "It's absolutely legitimate and that's how our political system works and that's why the two local MPs have brought this to my attention, that's why I convened the meeting of the experts, that's why I led the meeting with the local councils and that's why I hope we will have a very clear action plan presented to me in six weeks' time so that I can make a categoric decision once and for all.

Hampshire, Dorset and Somerset remain at medium risk of flooding, the Met Office said, while the Environment Agency currently has more than 143 flood alerts and 14 more serious flood warnings in place across England and Wales.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count
voicesIs it any wonder that Thornberry, Miliband, and Cameron have no idea about ordinary everyday life?
Sport
sportComment: Win or lose Hamilton represents the best of Britain
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsene Wenger reacts during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Swansea
footballMan United and Arsenal meet on Saturday with both clubs this time languishing outside the top four
News
i100BBC political editor Nick Robinson had a lot of explaining to do
News
A girl plays on a Sony 'PS Vita' portable games console
news
Life and Style
Nappies could have advice on them to encourage mothers and fathers to talk to their babies more often
newsTalking to babies can improve their language and vocabulary skills
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Female Support Workers / Carers - From £8.00 per hour

£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines