Following a week blighted by flooding across West Lancashire, Rosie Cooper MP at Prime Minister’s Questions challenged Boris Johnson to deliver much needed funding for flood defences.
At PMQs, Rosie highlighted the need to protect our food production as well as defending West Lancashire homes and businesses from the awful misery of flooding. One of the key problems we have is this Government’s decision to cut funding to the Environment Agency, the body tasked with managing the flood pumps protecting the area. This funding cut has led to the EA serving notice that they will cease to operate these pumps beyond March 2021.
Rosie called on the Prime Minister to deliver funding both to keep the Alt Crossens pumps operational and to maintain the watercourses, which will be vital in defending the rich food producing lands of West Lancashire.
The constituency has long suffered from continuous flooding of farmland and residential areas alike. Despite repeatedly raising these matters with Ministers, the Government have continuously reduced funding. At a residents meeting on flooding with the Shadow Environment Secretary in late 2020, local farmers and constituents were clear that they live in fear of flooding and feel the Government have no intention to protect them.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“The Prime Minister cannot continue to ignore this issue. Now Britain has left the EU, farms like those in West Lancashire are going to be relied upon if the country is going to be food secure and self-sufficient, yet the Government continues to turn its back.
“The PM’s response to me was to quote the amount that has previously been given for flood defences. This is clearly not enough! In the past week I have been contacted by many of my West Lancashire constituents who are struggling with flooding of their homes, gardens and land. When will the Government finally listen to them?!
“Local Authorities and the Environment Agency are doing what they can, but without proper and adequate funding they are fighting a losing battle.
“For the sake of my constituents’ land, homes and businesses, I hope the Prime Minister finally takes notice and provides the funding and help we urgently need!”