Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has today (2nd December 2014) claimed that the Government’s announcement on flood defences is just a ‘rehash of policies announced a year ago’.
“The Government’s announcement of a six-year capital settlement on flood defences does not contain any new money, instead it outlines details of how the £2.3bn that was already allocated at last year’s Spending Review will be spent.
“The Government are getting desperate, re-announcing project after project and the public will not fall for it. Parts of East Cleveland are still reeling from the effects of last year’s flooding and those communities won’t buy this Tory Government spin. At the beginning of this parliament David Cameron cut the flood protection budget by over a £100m a year.
“Flood risk management has gone backwards under the Tories. They have abandoned the last Labour Government’s independent plans for reducing flood risk, slashed the budgets, crossed their fingers and hoped for the best.
“The next Labour Government will reinstate flood protection as a core departmental responsibility. The previous Secretary for State, Owen Paterson, removed ‘preparing for and responding to flood risk’ from the Department’s list of priorities.
“This kind of uncertainty is unfair on those affected – we need a proper long term plan for infrastructure investment including flooding which is why we have called for an Independent National Infrastructure Commission.”