MP to Cameron: Stop dragging feet over flood relief

Flood defences being repaired in St Michaels
Flood defences being repaired in St Michaels
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A Fylde coast MP has demanded that David Cameron turn to the European Union for help after floods devastated the county over Christmas.

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith said that people in the North West needed the prime minister to ‘stop dragging his feet’ and access the EU Solidarity Fund to help provide relief to those affected by floods, which saw hundreds of people evacuated from their homes.

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith

The fund was set up in 2002 to respond to major natural disasters in Europe. Since then, it has been used for 70 catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought in 24 different European countries.

Despite this, David Cameron has yet to access EU help.

Ms Smith said: “Across Lancashire people’s homes, farms, and businesses have been devastated by flooding, but while government ministers have said they will do everything they can to help, the Prime Minister has not yet asked the European Union for much needed funds.”

“It really must be asked why the PM is dragging his feet in making an application, when the funds could do much to support people in the North West.”

It really must be asked why the PM is dragging his feet in making an application, when the funds could do much to support people in the North West

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith

In a letter addressed simply to “David”, Ms Smith wrote: “Storms, heavy rainfall and the resulting flooding have devastated homes and businesses across the North West of England; flood warnings continue and action is still required in many areas.

“In the past year the EU Solidarity Fund has been accessed by Italy, Bulgaria and Romania, who have received more than £40 million in similar circumstances and we ask you to also make an application to this fund to support those who have been hit.

“Members of the European Parliament for the North West wrote to you after flooding in early December and following the Boxing Day floods asking the UK Government to make an application to the EU Solidarity Fund. As Members of Parliament, and the European Parliament, for the North West we ask that you make use of the resources avilable to support those who have been affected by storms.”

Ms Smith later posted on social media: “These funds could help local people rebuild their lives, infrastructure and help clean up after the floods.

Flooding in St Michaels. Photo: Lancashire Fire and Rescue

Flooding in St Michaels. Photo: Lancashire Fire and Rescue

“David Cameron needs to stop playing to his eurosceptic MPs and do the right thing for the people of this country.”