Holly visited Pulman Steel in Sowerby Bridge who were badly flooded on Boxing Day 2015
The Government have come under growing pressure from Holly, and other MPs from flood hit areas, to reveal what has happened to millions of pounds from the EU which was intended to support communities affected by flooding in 2015.
The EU Solidarity Fund is an insurance scheme for members of the EU who can claim for financial support after natural disasters.
The UK has paid into the scheme for many years and after the devastating floods on Boxing Day 2015 many MPs were keen for the Government to apply for additional assistance from the fund.
They finally agreed to do this in April 2016 and the Yorkshire Post reported at the time: “Yorkshire’s flooded communities to get huge windfall” as “up to £125m could be available for the North of England and Scotland after Northern Powerhouse minister James Wharton performed a U-turn on asking Europe for help.”
However in January of this year Minister Andrew Percy announced in a written statement that no new money would be available at all saying “this funding does not offer additional support.”
Holly has been working to uncover the full details about the Government’s application to the EU Solidarity Fund and why it failed to deliver any additional funding for places like Sowerby Bridge despite an award from the EU of 60 million.
The Yorkshire Post have taken a strong interest in this issue and have covered Holly’s demand for more answers from tight lipped Ministers. You can read their full story here and their comment piece here which states that it is “no wonder there are MPs like Halifax’s Holly Lynch, whose constituency was badly hit by the floods in the Calder Valley, who now want to see detailed accounts for every last penny.”
Commenting on the ongoing demands for full Government transparency Holly said:
“The Government has failed to answer a series of questions on EU flood funding that could have benefited Calderdale.
“It looks as though accounting tricks and civil service costs have swallowed up what was promised to be a ‘huge windfall’, resulting in no extra funding for flood hit communities in our area.
“This is money that we are entitled to and, although we are leaving the EU, the Conservative Government should still be claiming the full amount that we are due from this insurance policy.
“It is welcome that since the floods in 2015 there has been extra investment in flood prevention along the Calder Valley, however there are still schemes that need extra funding in order to get the green light.
“I have written to Ministers to demand further answers and to request a meeting where MPs in flood hit communities can convey their concerns.”