Shadow Environment Secretary surveys storm damage in Penzance
The Shadow Environment Secretary has been visiting Penzance this afternoon to see the damage which the latest storms have created.
Labour MP Maria Eagle met with the leader of Cornwall Council, John Pollard, to survey some of the worst-hit areas along the harbour and promenade which is estimated to cost around £6m to repair.
Ms Eagle said:“[The damage] is quite extensive and to some pretty solid looking infrastructure. There’s clearly going to be significant financial implications.
“You can read reports and watch the news but you don’t get a true picture of how it affects people who live here, which is one of the reasons for coming and talking to people.”
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Ms Eagle has questioned whether Prime Minister David Cameron’s “money is no object” promise applies to storm damaged areas in Cornwall.
She said that Cornwall Council was right to question whether Government funding would be made fully available to them to complete all the immediate repairs needed in the county.
Ms Eagle also called for the Government to explain why they haven’t applied to the EU for help with the cost of repairs.
“In 2007 we made an application to the EU flood assistance we got £127m. It seems pretty remarkable that the Government said they weren’t going to make the application. I think if the money is there, which as a nation we have put in; I don’t see why we don’t use it.”
Looking to the future, Ms Eagle said the country needs to do more to protect itself from severe weather.
Mr Pollard welcomed Ms Eagle’s visit to west Cornwall.
He said: “I think we need an all-party approach in dealing with this.We are concerned that the money will focus on flooding rather than coast defences.
"[Ms Eagle] has given assurance that she’ll help us with our problems.We are spending whatever is needed to do immediate repairs but we need Government to provide what was promised.”