After the deluge, the big clean-up. There are a lot of awful things that can happen to people, but one of the worse must be sorting out the hideous aftermath of a flood.

I can’t think of anything more grim than seeing one’s possessions soaking wet, covered in sludge that is of questionable origin. My heart goes out to those people.

The government has made available cash to help those 66 (and possibly more) homes flooded, and the 20 plus businesses that have been affected.

Caravan parks and other businesses have seen a drop in their income as people have had to stay away.

We are still working to help farmers who are yet to have their financial assistance confirmed.

As well as supporting Wyre Forest District Council secure compensation for residents and businesses, my role also lies in making sure we are learning lessons from the recent, record-breaking floods here in Wyre Forest.

In particular, I want to make sure the property level defences at Beale’s Corner worked as expected.

They were put in place to secure the 27 homes that were most at risk, meaning that the temporary defences where not needed (although they were deployed last week).

With each flood alert, these defences would be put up, dividing Bewdley in two, even if they were subsequently not needed.

But whilst Bewdley is well protected by the demountable barriers on the western river bank, many other properties suffered damage – Stourport saw properties damaged by the rising River Severn, and Wolverley saw their local brook burst its banks again.

But in many cases (parts of Bewdley and Areley Kings), the problem was run-off from fields. Run-off can be horribly unpredictable.

Whilst giving yet another interview in Bewdley last Friday, a local resident wandered past with the comment “too little, too late”.

This was in front of Tony Blair’s £11m investment into the flood defences that had proved, once erected, robust.

I understand people’s frustration, but I immediately thought of the heroic work by the Environment Agency’s staff, the volunteers at the Severn Area Rescue Association, the police, and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority, all of whom spent a huge amount of time keeping those at risk safe.

To me, they are the real heroes of all this, putting their lives at risk for all of us. We owe them an unimaginable debt of thanks.