Boris Johnson in £6.6 billion flood defences pledge after Parliamentary question by Ludlow MP Philip Dunne

The desperate need for improved defences in flood-ravaged areas of Shropshire has been highlighted in Parliament.

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne.
Ludlow MP Philip Dunne.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Ludlow MP Philip Dunne asked for assurance from Boris Johnson that money would be spent on protecting affected communities from future episodes of extreme weather.

Mr Dunne, who was this month elected chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, said it was particularly important that, with the UK set to host the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, in November, it was imperative that the UK demonstrated “global leadership” on environmental issues.

Opening PMQs, Mr Johnson offered his condolences to the loved ones of those who have lost their lives and thanked those who have been working to mitigate the impact of the extreme weather.

Mr Dunne said: "I would like to associate myself with the thanks from the Prime Minister to all those helping in the aftermath of Storm Dennis.

"It's brought record-high water levels in the rivers Severn and Teme and over 100 properties in my constituency have been flooded, bringing misery to those affected.

"The Severn in Bridgnorth as we speak has just breached its banks.

"Will the Prime Minister use his influence in the budget and later this year in the comprehensive spending review to increase infrastructure spending on flood defences for communities at risk, as part of his determination, in this year of COP26, to show global leadership, taking action on climate change, adaptation and mitigation?"

Mr Johnson said the government had moved to ensure the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government was able to extend the Bellwin Scheme - which provides emergency grants to local authorities in emergency situations - “where appropriate”.

He said: "Of course we are investing massively in flood defences.

“£2.6 billion has already gone in and as he knows, we have pledged to commit another £4 billion to defend this country against flooding."

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