CONSERVATIVE MP Caroline Nokes has criticised the failure of Government ministers to visit her flood-hit constituency.

It is five months since large areas of Romsey were under water after the River Test burst its banks causing misery for homes and businesses.

The Army and the Navy were called in to shore up flood defences with thousands of sandbags, and a boom was built across the A3075 at Greatbridge to protect the town centre.

Ms Nokes, pictured, said: “Flooding may seem a dim and distant memory, but the effects are ongoing in Romsey.

“Not a single Government minister has yet been to my constituency to see the work that desperately needs to be und-ertaken to safeguard the town from future flooding.”

The Romsey and Southampton North MP spoke out after one minister – Greg Barker – twice cancelled planned visits to see the flood-hit town for himself.

The climate change minister, who lost his job in last week’s reshuffle, was booked to come in both May and June – but pulled out on both occasions.

Ms Nokes had planned to push the case for more flood defences, including to ensure access to The Causeway pumping station, and has questioned the town’s ageing drainage system.

In reply to Ms Nokes, environment minister Dan Rogerson said: “Ministers have undertaken a great number of visits across the country and I would be happy to join my honourable friend in a visit to her constituency.”

Fifty homes in Romsey were affected as nearly 40in of rain fell between December and February – the most since 1766.

An inquiry for Hampshire County Council also concluded drainage and river defences in Romsey must be beefed up to avoid a repeat of the worst flooding in 50 years.

Intense rainfall was found to have overwhelmed ageing drains, inundating homes and businesses in Winchester Road, Middlebridge Street, Mainstone, Riverside Gardens and the Causeway with foul sewage.

Permanent measures were also needed to stop the River Test bursting its banks and flooding areas such as Mainstone, Budds Lane and The Causeway.

In evidence to MPs, the county council blamed spending cuts and blunders by officials for making last winter’s floods worse.

Its submission to a parliamentary inquiry, it warned district councils no longer have the cash to maintain watercourses, a failure which can result in flooded roads.

Instead, town halls were relying on the county council to take enforcement action against landowners.