Thursday, 1 August 2013

Secret government plan to FLOOD Kent

SECRET papers have revealed the Government wanted to deliberately flood Essex and Kent to save London being swamped by a tidal surge in the 70s and 80s.

thames barrier, flood, london, kent, essexThe shocking plan to flood Kent and Essex was sparked by the building of the Thames Barrier grounding to a halt
The shocking idea was a sparked by work on the Thames Barrier being stalled by strikes in Teesside, sparking fears the capital would be defenceless in a flood.
The Government believed weakened flood defences downstream would allow some water to affect low lying areas instead of the densely populated capital.
The documents admitted that such a drastic plan would cause 'major political difficulty' for the State.
The official documents, dated from July 25 1979 to December 22 1983, were retrieved from the National Archives state.
The secret papers incredibly noted that 'sensitive handling' was needed for the issue which they admitted would result in casualties.
Dock strikes in Teesside sparked the drastic planDock strikes in Teesside sparked the drastic plan
The documents admitted that such a drastic plan would cause 'major political difficulty'The documents admitted that such a drastic plan would cause 'major political difficulty'
“It is generally accepted that there would be casualties...deaths could be numbered in the hundreds rather than dozens”
The secret Government papers
The plan was suggested despite potentially resulting in looting, civil disorder and a 'mass evacuation' as certain areas would be uninhabitable.
The secret papers said: "It is generally accepted that there would be casualties, resulting from such causes as collapse of buildings, open manholes in flooded roads and individual failure to heed warnings and that, depending on the severity of the flood, deaths could be numbered in the hundreds rather than dozens."
The document noted the plan would require explosive charged to be laid in advance.
It also stated that the cost of the drastic plan and potential legal battles ensuing from it all the action problematic.
Other issues that could also arise included polluted water, flooded sewers, large scale electrical failure and damages to roads and buildings.
The secret papers conceded there could be 'hundreds' of deaths due to the planThe secret papers conceded there could be 'hundreds' of deaths due to the plan
At the time the cost of a flood in London was viewed as catastrophicAt the time the cost of a flood in London was viewed as catastrophic
The building of the Thames Barrier was eventually built of time after Acas intervened and a settlement was agreed on.
However, at the time the cost of a major flood in London was seen as 'incalculable'.
The building of the Thames Barrier was held up by the dock dispute in Teesside as four gates needed to complete work on it could not be delivered.
In February 1982 then leader of the Greater London Council Ken Livingstone wrote to the Transport, Environment and Employment secretaries.
Margaret Thatcher with workers building the Thames BarrierMargaret Thatcher with workers building the Thames Barrier
He urged them to step in and resolve the dispute to ensure that work on the flood barrier could be completed.
He wrote: "Any initiative could prove valuable in achieving the urgent release of the barrier gates. It has been suggested that a relaxation of current financial constraints might possibly be helpful in resolving the overall dispute."
Behind closed doors the Government resisted the pleas of Mr Livingstone and the dispute was settled by the non-departmental arbitrary service.
A Home Affairs department paper later said the plan to flood Kent and Essex was 'unlikely to prove practicable' and that together it would cosy £250 million.
Ken Livingstone wrote to the Government over his concerns about the building being stalledKen Livingstone wrote to the Government over his concerns about the building being stalled
The dispute was settled by Acas and the Thames Barrier opened on timeThe dispute was settled by Acas and the Thames Barrier opened on time
Loading...