Neil Guild, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane, responding to figures showing that flood defence funding has been cut by 30 per cent in South West England, said:“Tory and Lib Dem MPs in Somerset have been caught out by the truth. Despite their attempts to deflect blame on to the Environment Agency or the last Labour government these figures show it is their government who actually cut funding by 30 per cent in areas such as the Somerset Levels over the last three years with disastrous results .
“This is a major embarrassment for this Tory and Lib Dem government. They have failed to prepare and protect against climate change and failed to learn the lessons of the earlier floods in 2007. Those floods prompted the last Labour government to initiate the Pitt Review and increase investment in ant-flooding and climate change resilience measures – measures which are now put at risk by the decisions of this government.
“Ministers cut funding for flood protection when they came to power in 2010. All of our MPs in Somerset’s voted in favour of those cuts. That short-termism has cost communities in Somerset dearly and in the longer term the government will now have to spend more to protect our flood defences for decades to come.”
Neil Guild, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane on 07950700872
Figures released under Freedom of Information laws show that funding for flood defences in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol and parts of Wiltshire (the worst-hit areas in the recent winter floods) were cut from £45 million in 2010/11 to £32 million in 2013/14.
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