Labour MEPs: Government must apply now for EU funding to help North-West communities hit by floods

North-West Labour MEPs Theresa Griffin, Afzal Khan and Julie Ward today called on the government to apply immediately for European Union Solidarity Funding to help communities hit by flooding.

Julie Ward MEP said:

“I have been receiving regular detailed updates from my office in Cumbria about how communities are pulling together and the exemplary work that our emergency services are doing in the face of this crisis, even as it progresses. We need to support people to rebuild their lives and local businesses to recover. This is the third major flood to hit Cumbria in 20 years and we must insist on long term solutions.”

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, one of the worst-affected areas, added:

“In Cumbria, schools are flooded, roads and bridges have been destroyed, and homes have been submerged under a torrent of water. One of our hospitals was even reduced to running on emergency generators.

“We’ve had 13.4 inches of rain in a day, the most rain to ever fall over a 24-hour period. The River Eden in Carlisle reached 20.3 feet – nearly five feet higher than the previous record.

“We need urgent help, now, and we will need help in the weeks and months ahead to get Cumbria back on its feet – we urge the government to do all it can, including applying for the European Union funding to which we are entitled.”

Theresa Griffin MEP said:

“Across Cumbria and Lancashire homes are being destroyed, livelihoods ruined and large parts of North-West England still lie under a blanket of water, with the possibility of more bad weather to come. EU Solidarity Funds would help those people who have been affected by the devastating flooding – this government needs to apply immediately for this support.”

Afzal Khan MEP said:

“Last year, after flooding hit the South-West, the Prime Minister said he would do whatever it takes and that money was no object – it’s time he showed the same commitment to the communities of the North-West that have been struck by Storm Desmond and apply for funding available under the European Solidarity Fund.”

Earlier this year, Bulgaria, Italy and Romania were granted €66.5 million from the fund after severe flooding.