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Brexit would cut EU funds for flood defences

November 19, 2019 9:19 PM
Originally published by Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats

Rushcliffe Liberal Democrat candidate Jason Billin has spelled out what the loss of EU funding to improve UK flood defences would mean for the local area, following the statement by Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson https://www.libdems.org.uk/climate-emergency-fund

flooding in sutton bonningtonVisiting parts of Rushcliffe that were brought to a standstill by flooding last week, Jason said: "We desperately need to invest in drainage and water run-off schemes able to cope with the heavier rainfall that is sure to come again in future years. This work needs longer term planning and serious funding to get it right but we will miss out on EU help for this if we leave."

Ms Swinson had been speaking during a fact-finding visit to Doncaster where residents were hit by floods after the River Don burst its banks. She has criticised the Government for failing to act quickly enough and for pursuing a hard Brexit agenda that would see valuable funding cut forever.

Mr Billin has been visiting residents of Keyworth, Radcliffe, Ruddington and Sutton Bonington last week and experienced first-hand the treacherous driving conditions, especially on minor roads and in several villages. In Sutton Bonington, he met Parish Councillor Mike Wright who told him that the flooding was the worst he had seen in Sutton Bonington since moving there in 1983.

Mr Billin added: "Liberal Democrats are taking this issue seriously by pledging a £5 billion flood defence fund as well as a budget increase for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of £1 billion per year.

"The funding will be used to support smaller community and council-led schemes designed to reduce flood risk and protect the most vulnerable areas."

Jason Billin

Jason Billin is an active resident of Rushcliffe having lived in East Leake for 25 years. He is married with two grown-up children and runs his own design and publishing business. He was selected as Rushcliffe Liberal Democrat candidate in June 2018 having served as local Membership Secretary and as a representative for the Party in the 2017 Nottinghamshire County Council elections.

Passionate about the development and wellbeing of children and teenagers, Jason has served as a local school governor and Rushcliffe Scout Commissioner for many years. The motivation to campaign within the Green Lib Dem movement comes from a desire to leave his two grown-up children, and their generation, with a safe and sustainable environment.

In Parliament, Jason would introduce a Private Members' Bill to ban the use of all oil-based plastic packaging. Philosophically he believes that we need to 'tread lightly on the planet' by re-using, recycling and repairing whenever we can.

Jason's policy interests include campaigning for better care for the elderly and their independent living; advocating for the adoption of modular eco-build housing schemes; better public transport access from rural areas to NHS care; and a Universal Basic Income as part of a 'circular' economy that provides flexible work opportunities to suit both the employer and family life.