MP Ian Liddell-Grainger is calling for an urgent meeting with Environment Agency officials in the wake of the weekend’s flooding in West Somerset.

He says serious thought needs to be given to introducing further flood mitigation measures if heavy, localised rainfall is to become a more frequent feature of the weather.

As work continued to dry out homes and businesses in Minehead and surrounding villages Mr Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said there needed to be a complete reappraisal of the area’s preparedness for storms such as Sunday’s.

He said: “What we are seeing is precisely what the experts have been forecasting since it was first conceded some 30 years ago that climate change is happening.

“We were told then to expect more intense and therefore more damaging rainfall - and the fact that at the week-end flooding affected some properties in Carhampton for the first time in living memory merely underlines how accurate those predictions were.

“An area like West Somerset, where you have hills rising to more than 1,000 feet so close to the coast, is always going to be prone to flash flooding because of the rapid run-off of rainfall but clearly, we now need to recalibrate our entire approach to it.

“This should include pinpointing pressure points such as culverts and putting in place whatever measures we can design and afford to ensure they can carry excess water away more efficiently.

“I am glad that a number of measures the Environment Agency put in place in response to previous events appear to be fulfilling their intended roles but the levels of damage that can now be inflicted by just a few hours’ heavy rain represents a clear warning that more needs to be done to protect homes and businesses in future.”