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Local MEP Calls for Fair Share for Region in EU Funding Allocation
Strasbourg, 11th March 2008 -- Timothy Kirkhope, MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber, is calling on the Government to ensure that the region receives its fair share of EU flood relief funding.
The European Parliament today (11/3/08) voted to allocate at least £123million from the EU Flood Relief Fund to the UK to alleviate the hardship suffered during last summer’s floods. The money is intended to help pay for the reconstruction of key infrastructure destroyed in the floods last June and July, estimated to have caused around £3.48billion worth of damage.
Mr Kirkhope was instrumental in pushing the Government to apply for the funding. The bid from the UK Government came only after weeks of pressure from the Conservatives and Mr Kirkhope in particular. This is the first time the UK has applied to the fund and the money will go towards reimbursing local authorities for the costs of emergency services, the flood clean-up and to offset the expense of restoring infrastructure such as roads and power lines.
Now that the money has been approved, Mr Kirkhope believes that it is imperative that Yorkshire and The Humber does not lose out and that the funds are distributed objectively and fairly right across the region.
“I am delighted that this money will finally be received to help deal with some of the distress my constituents have suffered. My first priority is to make sure that we receive our full quota of financial assistance. It is important that we ensure the aid is delivered as quickly as possible, and it also goes to the right people.
“My second priority is to make certain that the decisions regarding the allocation of the funds in this region are not politically linked or dependent, but based solely on need. It is important that the rural areas are not missed out just because the population is less in numbers. I am not convinced that on this occasion a Government department is best suited to make these decisions. A totally independent judgement is needed to guarantee fairness and speed.”