Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
- The Labour opposition day agenda prioritised the issue of national flooding
- Labour calls for an independent investigation into the Government’s handling of the flooding response
- Luke speaks on Good Morning Britain
Luke began opposition day by paying his respect to the families who lost loved ones during the floods. He also thanked rescue services and paid tribute to the BBC for keeping communities informed during the storms Dennis, Ciara and Jorge.
Luke called for an independent review into flooding and the lessons learned to deal with future storms. This overarching investigation would look into what strategic improvements the government can make regarding prevention measures and the implications of austerity. An investigation aims to empower flooding victims instead of silencing their voices. The climate crisis will bring more extreme weather more frequently and the government must be prepared with a modernized strategy.
The Prime Minister was missing in action during the past month of flooding. Withholding any national direction, he refused to unlock more funding or commit to providing additional services to affected areas. Furthermore, brutal austerity has made the climate crisis much harder to fight. Across England, cuts to fire service budgets have resulted in an average loss of 23% of fire fighters. The Environment Agency consistently requests 1 billion extra pounds per year in funding that it lacks for flooding as well. Affected regions and communities will take years to financially recover from the damage caused by recent storms.
“I want to have the voices of the communities underwater heard in the review we are proposing… I want to hear from the homeowners in West Yorkshire who have yet again had to wash dirty water from their home, who will yet again have to wash down the smell of sewage from their home, who will have to replace their furniture and their carpets and who will yet again have to worry about whether the insurance will pay out and how much the premiums will be next year if they are to be covered at all.”
Luke provided improved strategies in his speech, including restoration of nature, ending harmful burning of peatlands, proper catchment management, and defense strategies. He called for an end of match funding for flood preparedness as well because poorer communities are too often harmed by extreme storms over wealthy communities with greater resources. Lastly, in order to assist farmers affected by the flooding, Luke called on the government to reinstate the Farming Recovering Fund.
This morning, Luke appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the independent review of flooding. Luke called out the Prime Minister for his recent absence and pushed for greater national leadership.