Cat Smith MP

Working for Lancaster and Fleetwood

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Government U-Turn on EU Flood Funds

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After recent calls by myself and many of my colleagues demanding that the government apply for EU flood funds, I am very pleased to say that the Prime Minister has finally caved in to this demand. I had sent a letter to the Prime minister last month and received letter back which neither confirmed or denied whether the government would apply for the fund. After such indecision by the government, I am glad that the government have now applied for these funds after so much pressure.

It is great news that those devastated by the floods will now receive the support they have needed for such a long time. These funds will help rebuild the lives, homes, infrastructure and communities of the people hit hardest by the December flooding. 

However, it is still unacceptable that the conservatives waited until the last minute to apply for these funds, with the Prime Minister reluctant to do so, playing up to his eurosceptic MPs. It is very disappointing that the Prime Minister would rather play politics than put those affected by the floods first, the decision to apply for the funds should have been taken a long time ago.

Our NorthWest MEPs have campaigned hard on this issue, and noted that 

Theresa Griffin MEP said:

“Although rebuilding is ongoing, the government must learn from its mistakes. There cannot be any more cuts to flood defences and deadlines cannot be left to the last minute – leaving many communities in limbo.”

 Afzal Khan MEP said:

“The government’s inaction and poor communication has left many in my region feeling lost.

“Many businesses were affected and thousands of homes flooded – the economic impact is estimated at £5 billion.

“The solidarity fund highlights the EUs importance and ability to support local communities. Now we need to ensure this money goes directly to those affected so they can rebuild their lives.”

Julie Ward MEP said:

“It is hard to reconcile why the government has left it until the day before the deadline to apply for EU Solidarity Funds.Labour MEPs have been demanding this for months.

“In the absence of government support, citizens have pulled together and the emergency services and local councillors have worked tirelessly to rebuild our communities.

“Hopefully, this fund will further support efforts on the ground and get the North West back on its feet.”

This is a victory for Labour, and shows what can be achieved when we pressure the government into putting the needs of the people first. I hope that these funds will be of great help to the communities affected, and I would like to thank those who are working hard to rebuild.