The UK Government must act fast and apply for EU Solidarity Funding to help those affected by the recent floods

Yet again, over the holiday period, more homes throughout the North of England and Scotland were devastated by persistent rainfall and flooding. In the North West, current figures suggest 5,200 homes have been flooded and thousands of families left devastated.

Throughout the North West, hundreds of businesses were damaged, particularly manufacturing industries, employing thousands of people. Such destruction has not been experienced for over 70 years, leaving many without adequate living conditions, community hubs and jobs.

Currently, Osborne has allocated £50m to rebuild flood affected areas; however, initial North West estimates put costs at £500m – not factoring in other regions. Across the country, insured losses are placed at between £1bn and £1.4bn. Meanwhile, accountancy firm PwC, said December’s floods and rainfall could cost the UK’s economy as much as £2.8bn.

Consequently the government’s money fails to even touch the surface and provide the support needed to rebuild of our services, homes and communities.

That is why Labour MEPs are continuing calls for the government to apply for EU Solidarity Funding. We first wrote to the Prime Minister on the 8th December following Storm Desmond. The Government has 12 weeks from the date of the natural disaster to apply for Solidarity Funding. North West MEPs subsequently wrote to the Prime Minister again following the devastation wreaked by the Boxing Day floods.

Earlier in 2015, Bulgaria, Italy and Romania received €66.5 million from the EU’s Solidarity Fund for severe flooding. The deadline for applying is fast approaching and the UK government needs to act fast. For this reason, your Labour MEPs will continue the push for EU Solidarity Funding, whilst providing support to your local MPs and Labour Leaders.

For more information, see below my message to those affected by floods from December.