Chancellor Has Questions To Answer On Flooding

Tim Farron has written to George Osborne to ask him to provide additional funds to help repair flood-hit infrastructure.

 Tim said: "The Government’s approach to flood defences is short-sighted. In 2012 I said more funding was needed to deal with the torrential rain and ‘freak’ weather that was becoming more prevalent. In the years since I have repeated that call and do so again today. We need to urgently review every shelved flood defence scheme. The Prime Minister pulling on his wellies, wading through some water for a photo op and doing a couple of interviews doe not make people believe he is doing enough. He needs to show he cares about the North by following up his words with deeds."

The full text of Tim’s letter is here:

Dear George,

I am writing to you from a flooded Cumbria where, like vast swathes of the north, hundreds of homes have been damaged, family Christmas’ ruined, and lives put on hold by uncertainty and fear.

As a Cumbrian MP and seeing my community deal with the flooding I want to pay tribute to the emergency services, the army, the Environment Agency and the hundreds of charities, churches and organisations who have gone above and beyond to help.

I also want to pay tribute to the people in my constituency and the surrounding areas who have pulled together to support one another in ways which are genuinely heart-warming and inspiring. Moments like this show us the importance of strong communities, and many people have gone the extra mile to help their neighbours.

I am asking on behalf of all those affected by the flooding for three things:

1. To match fund the Flood Appeals for people in need in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Greater Manchester in the same way that you have agreed to match fund the Cumbria Foundation’s Flood Appeal up to £2 million.

2. To provide a date on when we will hear about the review of flood defence projects and to guarantee additional funding for repairing infrastructure in the affected areas. The initial £50 million fund is only ten percent of the cost of flood damage of Storm Desmond according to PricewaterhouseCoopers and further investment is vital.

3. To extend the scope of the National Infrastructure Commission and ask it to report on how the UK can best be protected from floods in the long-term.

Finally, can I ask you to take any opportunities you can to remind the British public that Cumbria and other areas are still open for business and visitors are very welcome.

Best wishes,

Tim Farron