A 'NEW kind of rain' could be responsible for recent widespread flooding, according to the chairman of the Environment Agency.

Since November, the county has been hit by several heavy downpours which have resulted in extensive flooding in the Five Valleys.

Speaking after a memorial service to the hundreds who perished in the 1953 East Anglia floods, Environment Agency chairman Lord Chris Smith said problems were also being caused by climate change.

"Instead of rain sweeping across the country, we are getting convective rain, which sits in one place and just dumps itself in a deluge over a long period of time," he said.

"From the point of view of filling up the rivers and the drains, that it is quite severe."