Mick Lerry and Maria Eagle MP at Bridgwater House  "Why did Somerset MPs vote against 'action for flooding"
Mick Lerry and Maria Eagle MP at Bridgwater House “Why did Somerset MPs vote against ‘action for flooding”

As water levels rise and thousands of homes are at risk from flooding, Cllr Mick Lerry, Labour’s candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset, today demanded an explanation from Ian Liddell – Grainger MP as to why he backed David Cameron’s slashing of Britain’s flood defence capacity .

The Government cut funding for flood protection from £670 million in 2010/11 to £576 million in both 2013/14 and 2014/15. Somerset MPs backed this decision, voting against Labour’s 2011 motion, which condemned cuts in flood defence investment and called for action on infrastructure to prevent flooding.

 Cllr Mick Lerry, Labour’s candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said: “Ian Liddell – Grainger MP needs to explain to those who have seen their homes and businesses devastated by flooding why he backed David Cameron’s reckless slashing of Britain’s flood defence capacity. This Tory-led Government has made repeated mistakes and been too slow to act in response to devastating flooding, and now Ministers are playing the blame game. Somerset deserves better than this.”

Maria Eagle MP,  Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary,who today joined Mick on a visit to Bridgwater and surrounding area, said: “David Cameron made the wrong decision when he approved cuts to flood protection funding. The Government just didn’t take the threat of flooding seriously, despite Labour’s warnings, leaving thousands of homes and businesses at risk. Even after the decision to partially restore some of the money that was cut, there is still less funding available for vital flood protection measures this year than at the time of the last election. We now need to learn the lessons of these devastating floods and urgently review the level of long term investment going into protecting our communities, including homes, farms and other businesses, from the threat of flooding.”

 Somerset MPs voted against ‘action on flooding’

Moorland Flooding
Labour PPC Mick Lerry tours the floodzone

The news that Somerset MPs voted against Labour’s call for action on flooding comes amid evidence that the Tory-led Government doesn’t take the issue of flooding seriously having repeatedly failed to take action to tackle the flooding: Somerset is currently represented by 4 Lib Dem and 1 Tory MP, all united in the Con-Dem coalition Government.

When Owen Paterson became Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs he removed flooding prevention from his Department’s core responsibilities.

The Government has ignored expert advice on flood prevention. Defra has ignored warnings from the Association of Drainage Authorities against not dredging key rivers, and David Cameron rejected pleas from local farmers to dredge rivers in Somerset.

The Government also axed regular progress reports on implementing the recommendations of the Pitt Review, which Labour established after the 2007 floods. Ministers published what they described as a final progress report in January 2012, despite 46 recommendations not having been implemented in full. Some specific recommendations, such as establishing a Cabinet Committee on improving the country’s ability to deal with flooding, were wrongly rejected altogether.

Cllr Mick Lerry – Leader of the Labour Group on SDC

Labour Parlimentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset

Mobile 07775905080



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Ken Jones
Ken Jones
10 years ago

Hi, As usual too little to late. My thoughts are with all the victims whoever wherever they are alot more could and should have been but now is not the time for the blame game but enshure this disaster is never repeated.

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