The poorest areas of England have been 3.5 times more vulnerable to flooding than the country’s most affluent neighbourhoods, research suggests.
Following the UK’s wettest winter for more than 200 years, charity Oxfam has called on the Government to improve protection for vulnerable people from the ‘increasingly extreme weather’.
One in five of the poorest neighbourhoods in England were hit by flooding between 1990 and 2013, in comparison to only one in 18 of the top 10% - the international charity claims.
Recent wet conditions saw over 5,000 homes affected by flooding in England and Wales. Oxfam is warning that climate change is likely to increase the risk of further flooding in the UK.
‘This winter's floods dramatically demonstrated that people in the UK will not be immune from the effects of climate change. Around the world, climate change is hitting the poorest hardest and we must make sure this doesn't happen overseas or on our doorstep,’ Oxfam's head of UK policy, programmes and campaigns, Sally Copley, said.
‘Not only are poor people hurt most by extreme weather events, they are also most vulnerable to food shortages and price increases.
‘In a world where one in eight people already go hungry we cannot afford to put off action any longer.’