[L]abour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Jon Trickett today warned of an impending £53million black hole in flood recovery money facing Cumbria. The Local Government Association estimate that £175m worth of damage has been done to infrastructure such as roads and bridges in Cumbria but so far the government have only pledged £122m to repair them.
Mr Trickett visited Carlisle today to meet with Carlisle City Council Leader Colin Glover and to view some of the ongoing work to repair damage done by floods last December.
On the visit Mr Trickett also warned that government cuts to council funding were making the situation even worse for local authorities as he released new research showed residents of Carlisle have lost £337 of funding each, in real terms, since 2010.
Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government and Shadow Minister for the North, said: “Nobody should have to suffer cuts as brutal as these. It’s despicable that residents have been losing out to the tune of £337 each since 2010.
“Carlisle suffered terribly with last year’s flooding, with the LGA estimating that there was £175 million worth of damage to infrastructure and now, they are hit again at the hands of tough Tory cuts. People across Cumbria will be very angry if the government fail to deliver on their promises in the aftermath of the floods.
“David Cameron promised that money would be “no object” for communities in the south of England and the same deal should be made for people in the North. So far government funding has only reached £122m, leaving a £53m black hole that local councils would have to fill. That is just not fair.
“The Conservatives have taken £3.5 billion pounds out of the North in the last five years and the pain is set to continue under George Osborne’s deeply unfair budget. Only Labour is standing up for local communities like Cumbria.”
Councillor Colin Glover, Labour Leader of Carlisle City Council said: “I am pleased to bring Jon to see Carlisle and to be able to talk to him about some of the challenges we have faced and continue to face after the floods. It’s important that we keep the pressure on the Conservative government to fully fund new flood defences to protect homes and businesses and to deliver fair funding to help us in the recovery work. Jon will take that message back to Parliament and hold the government to account on this issue.”
Continued pressure on the Government over flooding was one of six local pledges set out by Labour in a city centre launch today. Other pledges include measures on new homes for sale and rent, improved cultural and sports facilities, support for new business and protection of green spaces in the city.