When I look at the shocking events in Whaley Bridge, and the impact upon residents and families’ safety and wellbeing, I am reminded of the devastating floods which swept through Windsor and Berkshire county in 2013/14.

The widespread devastation to people’s homes, businesses, and livelihoods offered a piercing reminder of how we must always be prepared to face environmental catastrophes. With that in mind I felt a mixture of emotions towards the incident at Whaley Bridge.

Whilst the response from the Environment Agency, emergency services, and RAF was fast and highly coordinated, for which they should receive the utmost of praise. It does underline the growing concern that our ageing environmental infrastructure may not be ready to meet the challenges presented by climate change.

On this occasion the Dam stood firm and was repaired before there were any tragic consequences. Yet as our environment reacts to the forces of climate change, we must anticipate more of these freak weather events.

In doing so it is therefore imperative that our infrastructure is fit for purpose. Or else risk and environmental catastrophe. Following the persistent flooding in Windsor, Berkshire and the wider Thames Valley region I made this a top priority of mine.

Thankfully we are better prepared now than ever before to defend against future floods as a result of the £2.3 billion committed by this Conservative government to protect communities against severe flooding.

With £250 million of this allocated to the Thames Valley Scheme. I am confident that in years to come we will have some of the most resilient flood defences in the country to keep our homes and businesses safe from the elements.

But we must remain vigilant.

We must be prepared for our environment to be pushed further and for our defences to tested to their limit.

Furthermore, we must also press on with our ambitious green strategy to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050 to help limit the impacts of climate change from exacerbating further. What happened at Whaley Bridge should serve as a reminder that our environment is changing.

Under this Conservative government I am confident that will we meet this challenge.