West Cumbrian MP, Jamie Reed has written to the European Union to access funds for flood-hit communities in Cumbria.
The EU has a specific Solidarity Fund set aside to provide funding for communities of EU Member States hit by severe weather and flooding. The current rules state that only National Governments can apply for the funding, but despite repeated calls from Copeland MP, Jamie Reed, the Prime Minister and the Government have refused to act.
Tired of the Government’s inaction, Jamie Reed has taken matters into his own hands and written directly to the EU Commissioner responsible for the EU Solidarity Fund asking for special dispensation to allow Cumbria to apply directly to the EU – bypassing the UK Government.
In his letter to Commissioner Cretu, Jamie Reed wrote:
Despite displays of resilience and a determination to recover, local people remain in desperate need of assistance to rebuild homes, vital infrastructure and businesses. Despite my repeated calls upon the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, asking for him to apply for EU Solidarity funding in order to assist the people of Cumbria, the UK Government has so far failed to make an application and has now indicated that is has no intention of doing so.
Mr Reed continued:
In light of these exceptional circumstances, I write to ask if you will accept an application for EU Solidarity Funding from the county and communities of Cumbria if the Prime Minister continues to refuse to apply for the assistance that we need.
Read the full letter here:
Copeland MP, Jamie Reed said:
“The Government have dragged their feet for too long. They’ve played for time, ducked questions and tried to give us the run around. Sadly, as time goes on it becomes clearer and clearer that the Government do not intend to apply for the funding from the EU that is available and badly needed for our communities.
“It is shameful that the Government won’t step up as the rules state that only central government can apply. That means that because of Government’s refusal to apply, Cumbria will pay the price. That is why I have proactively approached the EU directly asking them for dispensation to allow Cumbria to apply to make up for the Government’s lack of action.”