1. ITV Report

Farron urges government to release more floods funding

Storm Desmond hit Cumbria on 5 December 2015 Photo: PA

Tim Farron has tabled a motion in Parliament to mark two years to the day since Storm Desmond hit the region.

In a statement released today the South Lakes MP calls on the government to release more floods funding, while praising the resilience of Cumbrian people:

Two years on, it is right that we take time to mark this anniversary of this traumatic event that hit thousands of us here, and to celebrate the strength our community as we pulled through it together.

Two years after Storm Desmond and there still more than a hundred Cumbrian residents who haven’t been able to return to their homes.

In addition, our local communities are understandably exasperated that not a single penny of the £25m, which was awarded back in 2015, has yet been spent on flood defences.

However, the Environment Agency’s announcement last week that engineering work is set to start in the New Year is to be welcomed.

I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped us put pressure on to accelerate work.

I do understand how important it is to get this right and I know that local Environment Agency workers on the ground are working tirelessly to protect our area, they deserve our thanks – but there just aren’t enough of them.

I will continue to put pressure on the government to get on with the job of giving our communities the flood protection they so desperately need to keep us safe in the future.”

– Tim Farron MP

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said by 2021 it will have invested nearly £100million in flood defences in Cumbria since 2010.

“Our thoughts continue to be with those who were affected by floods two years ago.

“Since 2010 we have invested almost £42m to protect against flood damage in Cumbria and we will invest a further £53m by 2021.

“In the last two years alone we have completed flood schemes in Appleby, Keswick, Ulverston and Threlkeld and spent £1 million maintaining existing defences including 50km of walls and embankments.”

– Defra spokesperson