KING Canute famously tried to turn back the tide.

Legend has it this historic event took place in Southampton, possibly near Ocean Village.

If so Canute made a wise choice, as thanks to the city's double tides, he wouldn't have to wait long for the next one.

And it should be remembered this exercise wasn't intended to demonstrate his royal powers, but their limitations.

A millennium later and despite all the latest technology, we still cannot turn back the tide.

Mother Nature, Poseidon or Neptune (delete to your taste) still reigns supreme.

As a result, we must invest in flood defence, and there have been several recent schemes in Southampton with more to come.

Works were carried out to reduce the risk of Holly Brook flooding, which flows through the Sports Centre and Shirley.

As part of the project, a pond was created on the second hole of Southampton Golf Course. Sadly as a 20-handicapper, the two of us have become, let's say, 'acquainted'.

Additional protection has been offered to properties in St Denys and Southampton City Council is seeking to improve flood defence along the River Itchen.

Another scheme in the pipeline is bolstering the sea defences at Weston Shore beside Southampton Sailing Club.

This will ensure the coastal path, and National Cycle Route no.2, are protected.

And it's important to focus on walking and cycling and all the other measures in Labour's Green City Charter as there is a reason we need more flood defence.

Put simply, water levels are rising, and if (as widely suspected) greenhouse gases are the cause, then we must examine the city's carbon footprint closely.

After all, if sea levels keep rising, one day we might be in the same position as King Canute...with very wet feet.

Cllr Warwick Payne

Labour Member for Woolston, Weston, & Waterside Park

Southampton City Council