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Farron grills Benn over the delay to Grange Flood Relief

December 17, 2008 3:27 PM

During today's Government response to the Pitt Review of the Summer 2007 floods, Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron MP grilled Hilary Benn MP over the delay in implementing a flood relief scheme in the South Lakes.

Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons, Mr Farron challenged the Secretary of State to provide assurances to the residents and businesses in the Windermere Road area of Grange that the long awaited flood relief scheme planned for the area would be introduced in the near future.

Commenting Mr Farron:

"Last weekend's flooding in the South West, in which two people sadly died, is a horrible reminder of the ever present danger of flooding. But whilst this is undeniably a tragedy, it also reinforces the absolute necessity for introducing effective flood relief works.

"It's outrageous that this Government has today announced the introduction of a Cabinet Committee which the Pitt Review recommended should have been introduced six months ago.

"Whilst Scotland already has its Flood Risk bill in progress, this Government is content to drag its feet by paying lip service to the promise of actual legislation by offering a draft Floods and Water Bill for the spring of next year.

"It's clear for anyone to see, that despite their protestations, the Government still has a huge backlog of flood relief works in many parts of the country.

"With severe floods likely to become more common due to climate change, we need a real strategy and real investment to protect high-risk areas.

"If the Government is serious about reducing the risk of flooding, they have to step up their efforts to front load investment in flood relief schemes in high risk areas across the country."