Current Affairs

Government flood funding announcement ‘totally inadequate’, says Councillor

Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of a ‘support package’ to help drive tourism to flood-hit Cumbria has been hit out at as “totally inadequate”.

Stewart Young, leader of Cumbria County Council, said that the money is “nowhere [near] enough” to get Cumbria back on its feet following the floods, which saw some areas get hit by flooding as many as three times.

He said with an estimated £500m worth of damage to the county’s infrastructure, including £20m in the Lake District alone, the announcement is “totally inadequate”.

He added: “The government describes Cumbria and the Lake District National Park as a jewel in the crown of the British countryside, and it is.

“That is why we are urgently seeking a face to face meeting with Ministers to secure the amount of money that we need to fund Cumbria’s full recovery. It is now eight weeks since the floods hit Cumbria and this has to be, and should be government’s, top priority.”

The announcement made by Cameron earlier today is set to include £2m worth of government funding to repair flood-damaged infrastructure across the Lake District, alongside a £1m media campaign – run by VisitEngland – to encourage British staycations in the county over the Easter break.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has also spoken out against the funding, with Martin Couchman, the association’s deputy CEO, calling it “rather insufficient” when compared with the estimated damage

He said: “The announcement of a PR and marketing campaign to promote staycations in the region and support local businesses is a step in the right direction.

“However, many business might be still out of action for Easter and therefore we would have preferred to see a longer term campaign to combat the devastation suffered by the two counties.”

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