The GOVERNMENT minister in charge of fire and rescue services has praised the efforts of firefighters who are working round the clock to protect properties in Marlow from flooding.

Brandon Lewis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, arrived in Marlow this afternoon to talk to crews and residents at Garnet Court and St Peter Street.

Firefighters are taking it in turns to pump water away from homes, with a 24-hour operation in place since the weekend.

Mr Lewis paid tribute to the teams who in certain areas are working just feet from the powerful high swell of the river.

And the Conservative MP, whose ministerial duties include the fire service, said extra supplies are on hand from elsewhere in the country if the situation worsens.

He told the BFP: “You can’t put it into words , you have to see it to understand the power of what nature can do. The speed of the Thames is staggering and you've got a team here working its socks off to try and protect these properties and fighting nature all the time.

“The team have been since five o’clock in the morning pumping constantly, and that just goes to show how fantastic they are.

“The fire team will take a view as and when they need to get extra pumping resources in.

“We’ve got plenty of high volume pumps around the country and it’s about moving them to where they’re most needed. We’ll do that under the advice of the teams here.”

Currently, Bucks Fire and Rescue has a specialist vehicle helping to battle the floods in Somerset.

But Mr Lewis said he and Bucks fire chiefs are confident crews have the necessary equipment to continue the operation.

He said: “I spoke to the fire chiefs this morning and they’re confident they can still keep the vehicles down in Somerset.

“It’s all mutual aid though, and if Bucks needs extra support they can pull it from elsewhere but at the moment they are confident they have the resources to and equipment to cope.”

Fraser Pearson, spokesman for Bucks Fire and Rescue, confirmed that if needed, the equipment would be recalled and that Bucks remains the service’s top priority.