Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths - himself a flood victim this week - has called on the government to get its priorities straight and its act together.

He says: “This government is about to press the button on expenditure of more than £100bn for a new generation of nuclear weapons, which no one believes - or can prove - will even be able to defend working people in Britain. In fact it makes their lives more precarious. But along comes nature to remind us of what must be done, especially in the face of global warming and worsening climate instability.

"The latest floods right across the country have devastated the lives of many in our local communities, in some cases for the second and even third time in recent memory. The Communist Party extends its solidarity to these communities and expresses its deepest appreciation of those in the emergency services who have battled atrocious conditions to keep people, their homes, pets and other animals safe from the terrible damage that flooding brings. We thank too, the members of the Communist Party who are taking part in this work as professionals and volunteers.

"This weekend, the Communist Party Environment Commission meets in Sheffield to discuss the impact of carbon emissions and climate change. Global warming does not mean we have to suffer the calamity of flooding year after year. The Commission will become an important focal point for forming Communist policy in the coming years.

"The impact of the current rainstorms has been made worse by ten years of failure to allow local authorities the capital spending needed for flood relief projects. Powers being repatriated from Brussels to the Scottish and Welsh governments should be deployed to invest in infrastructure which protects communities. Cuts in fire services and a failure to train sufficient engineers and other workers and military personnel for civil defence work must be reversed without delay.

"The government was slow to respond. What is needed is a specialised ministry which brings together local authority representatives from the most vulnerable communities, the emergency services and scientists and engineers who can help plan and set priorities for central, devolved and local government investment".

The CP Environment Commission, which is open to all CP/YCL members, meets Saturday on Saturday, February 22 (12-3pm) at the United Reform Church, 60 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB.