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Farron's Campaign Succeeds As Government Applies For EU Flood Fund

March 2, 2016 9:55 AM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Tim with Catherine Bearder MEP presenting a petition for EU Solidarity FundingA long campaign by South Lakes MP Tim Farron urging the government to apply for EU Solidarity Funding following the floods which hit in December has finally succeeded, as the government has announced that it will make an application to the fund.

Tim first called on the government to apply for EU Solidarity Funding the week after the floods first hit, and has since written repeatedly to Ministers, as well as asking further questions in parliament. Tim also set up a petition which attracted the support of over 2000 constituents, which he presented at the European Parliament last week.

In response to an urgent question this morning, Department for Communities and Local Government Minister James Wharton confirmed that the government would apply. The deadline for applying to the fund was the end of this week.

Accounting firm KPMG has estimated the total flood damage in the UK at £5bn, meaning that the UK could be eligible for up to £125m from the fund, which exists to support member states who have been hit by a major natural disaster. Ten percent of the total grant would be made available immediately.

Tim said: "I am delighted that the government has finally decided to apply for this money. The government has prevaricated for far too long, but has finally decided to apply.

"This is a big win for everyone who signed the petition and supported the campaign. Local people have shown overwhelming support in favour of applying for this money, and although it took months of constant lobbying and a trip to Brussels, I am glad that the government has finally listened.

"We now need to make sure that the money which is granted actually reaches the areas that most need it, rather than remaining with central government.

"This money is desperately needed to help flood-hit areas rebuild infrastructure and repair damage following the devastating impact of the floods."