Army patrol called in to aid flooded village

Members of a A team from the Royal Navy in Hambledon last week
Members of a A team from the Royal Navy in Hambledon last week

‘UK needs to boost its budget for the military’

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TENSIONS were running high in Hambledon last night as villagers demanded more manpower to deal with the floods.

With the prospect of another storm in the early hours of today, residents requested 10 military personnel to help with the overnight duty.

Hampshire County Council’s Accredited Community Safety Officers finished their shift at 10pm – initially leaving residents with no extra support.

An army liaison officer visited the village and said personnel could be on stand-by from an army camp in Wiltshire.

And at the eleventh hour, the village was told to be on standby for 10 army personnel, who were set to patrol the area until the morning.

Before the news, Neil Mason, who has been leading Hambledon Flood Action group last night, said: ‘’We are very concerned that we are likely to have a power cut.

‘We are getting weary. We are trying to explain if we have a power outage, people’s first interest is protecting their own homes rather than rushing out to help everybody else.

‘We need to have support that is not affiliated to a particular house.

‘As I explained to the military liaison officer, Hambledon has a fairly elderly population.

‘You can’t expect them to be out at 4am trying to wade around in the water and jump over pipes.’

He added: ‘We are not asking for a battalion of infantry.

‘When you have the matter of saving a house, they need to be here, not two hours drive away in Bulford, which is the other side of Salisbury.

‘We are about to enter day 48 of this.

‘Are you really saying we don’t justify some manpower?’

A fire officer and pump was deployed to Hambledon.

Last night, Mr Mason said: ‘We are very pleased. Having upped the ante to make sure we have got them has worked.’

It comes after 10 Royal Navy officers were deployed to Hambledon last week.