At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley questioned David Cameron on the disparity in funding for flood defences and emergency response between the North and the South.
Over recent years, flood defence schemes in the North have been refused funding or scaled back. In 2011 a flood defence project on the River Aire in Leeds was cancelled by the Government on cost grounds. One thousand homes and businesses in the area were flooded in recent weeks.
Schemes in Keswick and Kendal in Cumbria were refused funding altogether in 2014. Both areas have flooded in the last few weeks.
Warnings on the capacity of flood defences were ignored in Yorkshire too.
In the chamber Anna said:
“In 2014, in response to the flooding of the Thames valley, the Prime Minister said that money would be “no object”. In the light of his cuts to the flood defences, his cuts to the fire and rescue service and his cuts to the Environment Agency, can he say the same to the people of Leeds, Rochdale, York, Whitby and Teesside, or is it one rule for his constituents and another for ours in the north?”
In his response, the Prime Minister refused to acknowledge the cuts made to flood defences under his watch.