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EU to give UK £120m for flood repair

March 11, 2008 12:00 AM

Today MEPs in Strasbourg voted to approve European Commission's proposals for £120m of Solidarity Funding to go to the UK to help with repairs following the flooding last summer which caused chaos across the country.

Liberal Democrat South East MEP Sharon Bowles has welcomed the move:

"As the UK takes a battering from the worse storms this winter the timing of this approval could not be more apt. Eight months after the clean up in the UK began, thousands are still waiting to move back into their homes.

"Large numbers in the South East were affected, with Oxfordshire suffering the worst damage in the region. This funding will be welcome to help our local authorities and emergency services cover the costs of recovery."

The EU Solidarity Fund aims to help Member States cover the uninsurable public costs of natural disasters, such as emergency services, repairing utilities infrastructure, and temporary housing.

The money will go direct to the Treasury which will then be responsible for dividing it up amongst the different local public bodies. The UK government has one year to spend the money.

Sharon Bowles added:

"It is disappointing that the process has taken so long to complete. I will certainly be pushing for a more speedy response to such major emergencies in the future."