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Government Must Provide Infrastructure Funds - Farron

January 26, 2016 3:01 PM

farron-oration blogSouth Lakes MP Farron has criticised the government for failing to provide the necessary funds to restore Cumbria's infrastructure, as roads and bridges across the county remain closed.

It is estimated that the total cost of restoring the infrastructure damaged by flooding in Cumbria is around £500million. However, the government has so far only given around £40million for this purpose, leaving a £460million shortfall.

Roads and bridges remain closed due to flood damage across Cumbria, and funds are urgently required to reopen them.

In a written answer earlier this week, a minister from the Department for Transport reiterated that the government had given £40 million but refused to set out further largescale spending commitments. Commenting on the shortfall between this commitment and the total required, a Department for Communities and Local Government minister suggested in the Lords that it could come from the council's own budget, saying "it is entirely up to local authorities, when considering whether or not to increase their council tax, what their priorities are and what the money would go towards".

Tim said: "The government is betraying the people of Cumbria - they promised help while the cameras were here, but now the dust has settled they aren't willing to provide the cash that's needed to restore Cumbria's infrastructure.

"Every day that these roads and bridges are closed makes life that much harder for local residents and businesses. Unless the government is willing to provide the money to find quick solutions, these businesses will disappear. So far, they have shown an impressive determination to remain open despite the flooding; it would be utterly tragic if they were to be forced under because the government was not willing to repair the infrastructure they rely on.

"The government must take seriously the issue of rebuilding Cumbria's infrastructure, rather than just making a token contribution to the costs and expecting the County Council to pick up the tab."