EU flood fund application "better late than never" - Farron
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that the government has at long last finalised its application for EU flood relief funding. However, he has pointed out that if the government had not delayed its submission, Cumbria and other affected areas would already have received funds.
In a response to a parliamentary question by Tim, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury revealed that the government has now finally submitted its application to the EU Solidarity Fund.
Tim has long been pushing the government to apply to the fund, which could see flood-hit areas across the North of England receive millions of pounds of funding. Tim has asked numerous parliamentary questions about the fund, and also tabled a motion in parliament calling on the government to complete its application which attracted cross-party support from 35 MPs.
In 2008, the UK received £134 million from the fund to help deal with the aftermath of major floods the previous year.
Tim said: "Flood-hit communities across Cumbria and the North of England will be massively relieved to hear that the government has finally submitted its application to the EU Solidarity Fund.
"However, if the government had applied at the beginning of the year, flood-hit areas could already be benefitting from millions of pounds of much-needed recovery funds. It could take up to six months to receive the full payment, so the government's delays mean that it could be well over a year from when the floods hit until this money reaches the areas affected.
"Throughout this process, the Conservatives have dragged their feet - they only originally decided to apply at all to save face at the last minute, and then have spent months and months completing the details of the application. With residents still out of their homes and key infrastructure still damaged, these delays are unjustifiable."