I was pleased to hear last week that the government has finally begun the application process for EU funding to help local communities affected by the floods.
This is of course terrific news, but it comes very late.
My Lib Dem colleagues and I have been lobbying Owen Paterson for more than a month to apply for EU solidarity funding, which helped the UK in the aftermath of the 2007 floods to the tune of £134 million. But our advice has been ignored up until now.
Unfortunately, it looks like the Tories have dragged their feet over the EU funding because of their increasingly disruptive anti-European wing – effectively putting party before country.With talk of limiting the foreign aid budget, I am pleased common sense has prevailed and the government are instead looking to the EU for extra funding to help with the clean-up.
In addition to what the national government can do, our county council can apply for EU regional development funding to help rebuild and develop flood defences.
I sincerely hope they will follow the government’s lead.
Lib Dem European Parliamentary Candidate for South East England