Christmas floods prove government needs to spend billions on flood defences rather than HS2 vanity project

Published Dec 27, 2015

Mike_Hookem.jpgYorkshire & North Lincolnshire MEP, Mike Hookem has sympathised with people hit by the unprecedented Christmas flooding saying, “My heart goes out to those all those affected”; while slamming the government for “ignoring the abject misery, disruption and damage caused by flooding” in favour of “pouring billions into vanity projects such as HS2”.

Speaking after many areas of Northern England, including his Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire constituency fell victim to massive flooding on Christmas and Boxing Day; Mr Hookem said, “Flooding is terrible at any time of year, but it must be particularly hard during the festive period.”

“While flooding has brought a premature end to Christmas for many across the North of England, the government is still wheeling out the same tied excuses for its repeated failures to invest in and properly manage flood defences across the country.”

“As more and more homes are built on floodplains and changing weather patterns bring more rain, we as a country must be better prepared for this type of disaster, and it is up to the government to protect our homes, businesses and heritage from this grave threat.”

“Flood defences are not something that the government can palm off on charities and communities like many other aspects of life in Britain today.”

“So rather than pouring billions of pounds into vanity projects such as HS2; while at the same time cutting the flood defence budget - as it did in the recent spending review - the government must get its priorities right and make protecting the homes and businesses of hundreds of thousands of people from flooding an absolute priority.”

“While flood defences are dour in comparison to the sexy sound bites used to promote HS2, each year we are seeing more and more homes and businesses blighted with the misery of flooding in the north of England.”

“HS2 is not a magic bullet to bridge the North-South divide and the destruction of property and peoples livelihoods though repeated failures to tackle flooding is doing nothing more than further exacerbating the problem.”

“I think I speak for the thousands whose Christmas has been cut short when I say most people in the UK would rather see some of the billions slated for HS2 spent on flood defences instead.”

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