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David Watts Calls On Government to Declare A National Emergency Over Flooding

November 17, 2019 10:13 PM

After visiting a number of flood hit parts of the Newark constituency this weekend Lib Dem parliamentary candidate David Watts has called on the government to declare a national emergency.

Mr Watts said:
"The flooding around Newark is really serious. Huge areas remain under water and communities have been cut off from each other. I think we are lucky that not more properties have flooded, but for every person whose house is under water it is a devastating experience. I'm speaking here with first hand knowledge. My home was flooded in 2013 and we were unable to live in it for six months. Watching all your possessions being put into a skip is absolutely heart-breaking, and even with insurance it takes ages to get everything back to normal. The £500 per family that the prime minister offered was, frankly, insulting. He clearly has no idea how ordinary people live. If the Government actually cared about people in the north and the Midlands they would have declared a national emergency and applied to the EU for funds from their Solidarity Fund which exists to help countries tackle natural disasters. It's really hard to understand why they haven't done this.

The EU's solidarity fund exists so that member states can apply to the EU for extra funds to help tackle natural disasters. For regional emergencies, the amount given depends on the scale of the damage and cost of the operations. It is capped depending on the size of the area's economy. In theory the government could apply for up to for €509m (£436m), on behalf of South Yorkshire, the EU says. In total the UK has received almost £200m from the fund - making it the fourth largest beneficiary after Italy, Germany and France, according to the EU.