David Cameron has so far refused to apply for EU funding available to help repair flood damage - I urge him to think again.
The EU Solidarity Fund is available to help EU member states with the cost of responding to major natural disasters, and as a member of the EU the UK is entitled to apply for funds. You can find out more about the fund by clicking here.
The UK has benefited from the Solidarity Fund in the past, receiving £120 million in 2007 to help us repair the damage which, like now, was caused by severe flooding, and other European countries have no hesitation applying and getting their fair share of help.
The Prime Minister and his government have so far refused to apply, which makes no sense whatsoever and lets down everyone affected by the flooding in Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale, and across the North West of England. That's why this week I have written directly to David Cameron to ask him to think again and to make the application.
My letter to the Prime Minister:
‘Dear Prime Minister,
As you will be aware, for the last month storms and heavy rainfall have caused flooding across the North West of England, devastating homes and businesses. Numerous communities across Lancashire, Cumbria, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, including my own constituency of Heywood and Middleton, have been hugely affected and need access to all available resources to help rebuild and clean up the mess left behind.
Members of the European Parliament for the North West wrote to you after flooding in early December and also following the Boxing Day floods to ask the UK Government to make an application to the EU Solidarity Fund. The UK has benefited from this fund in the past, receiving £120 million in 2007, and in the past year Italy, Bulgaria and Romania have received more than £40 million to help repair flood damage.
On behalf of people in Heywood and Middleton, and along with our North West MEPs and other MPs, I ask that you make use of the resources available to support those who have been affected by the storms and apply for this funding urgently.
I look forward to receiving your response on this matter.’