It’s been reported that Rosie Cooper has written to the government to seek investment in case of repeat floods in the borough. The West Lancashire MP has again received confirmation from Government that despite persistent lobbying, they refuse to fund flood defences in Ormskirk.
Following Lancashire County Council’s publication of the Hurlston Brook (Ormskirk) Flood Report in 2018, often referred to as the Jacobs Report, residents were disappointed to hear that no improvements were being considered despite the clear identification of flood risk in the area.
Rosie wrote directly to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the time, who confirmed there was a maximum of £1.3m available to bid for through their Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) money. However, this was only available if the remaining £8.4m could be found locally, which Lancashire County Council say they can’t fund.
Following a DEFRA update last month boasting about a multi billion pound investment in flood defence, Rosie wrote again seeking funding for flood defence in Ormskirk.
Rosie is reported to have said “We’ve done the studies, we know the problems, we have the solutions, but Government simply won’t fund the flood defences for Ormskirk. I pursued the Environment Secretary at the time the Ormskirk Jacobs Report was released, and they told me they wouldn’t provide the funding.
“DEFRA wrote to me last month about their multi billion pound investment in flood defence, but having written again to the Secretary of State requesting flood defence funding for Ormskirk, it seems West Lancashire is left behind yet again as the answer remains no. So much for the levelling up agenda this Government like to talk about!
“I will continue to lobby LCC, DEFRA and relevant agencies to consider any and all approaches available to protect my constituents, many who have already had their lives devastated because of flooding in 2012, 2015 and countless other times”.
Perhaps it’s time for WLBC to become creative with the council tax it collects for LCC. It should only pay LCC a net amount after deduction of the flood defence bill, the £8.4million referred to as necessary to defend us from the floods? Simple!