MP pledges to fight on for funding

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MORPETH’S MP has pledged to do all he can to try to retain the town’s flood alleviation scheme.

The Environment Agency announced last Friday that the £17million project is likely to be delayed following a reduction in its flood management funding for 2011/12.

Councils, groups and organisations are coming together to see what they can do and now Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has said he is writing to Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman, and Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency, to seek urgent meetings with them about the current situation.

The Labour member believes Morpeth is paying the price for the Government’s decision to make immediate cuts.

“This is totally unacceptable – we were virtually guaranteed that the scheme would go ahead under the previous Labour Government,” he said.

“But because of the choices of this coalition Government, the people of Morpeth will suffer as a consequence and I’m not prepared to accept that.

“I’m also disappointed with the Environment Agency’s decision as there is now a lot of uncertainty.

“If they are looking for some money from elsewhere, the question is where will it come from?

“I fully support the aims and objectives of the Morpeth Flood Action Group and I will do everything in my power as an MP to get the issue back on the rails at a national level.

“I will continue to press for the full scheme to be delivered because it is what Morpeth residents deserve.”