UK Government must ensure fair distribution of EU flood aid

Conservative MEPs were first to call on Government to apply for assistance

Strasbourg, 11th March 2008 — The UK Government must ensure the £123 million payment from the EU Solidarity Fund, agreed by MEPs in Strasbourg today, is distributed fairly around areas affected by last summer’s floods.

The cash, which is paid directly to the Government, is intended to assist with the reconstruction of key infrastructure following the devastating rainfalls across the UK last June and July, estimated to have caused around £3.48 billion worth of damage.

Conservative MEPs, who were the first to call on the Government to apply for the EU aid, said the money has to be allocated in one year and Labour would need to justify how it was spent six months after that.

This is the first time the UK has applied for assistance from the Solidarity Fund, which was created in 2002. The funds should go towards reimbursing local authorities for the costs of emergency services, the flood clean-up and offsetting the expense of restoring infrastructures such as roads and power lines.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP said:

“The bid for this money from the EU Solidarity Fund came only after weeks of pressure from Conservatives last summer. Now we are asking the UK Government to ensure all affected areas across the UK receive their fair share.”

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