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Spend money in UK, not Bangladesh, urges Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk

Published 28/12/2015

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose Rochdale constituency has been hit by flooding, said money should be spent in the UK rather than overseas
Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose Rochdale constituency has been hit by flooding, said money should be spent in the UK rather than overseas

Money needs to be spent in this country rather than in developing ones, according to Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who has said more could have been done to prevent the flooding.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester in the aftermath of the devastation which hit his Rochdale constituency, he said: "Why do we spend money in Bangladesh when it needs spending in Great Britain? What we need to do is to sort out the problems which are occurring here and not focus so much on developing countries. That has to be our priority."

He said the flooding had been "awful" for people, adding: "We need to put that right as soon as possible."

His comments come after further severe flood warnings were issued for parts of the North West of England.

In the Croston area of Lancashire, there are fears that the banks of the River Douglas could collapse.

The Environment Agency has issued three severe flood warnings for the area - meaning a danger to life.

Although today is likely to be drier than recent days, the warnings have been issued as a precautionary measure following water flowing from a breach in the River Douglas defences, north of the railway line and Rufford.

Over the weekend, Rochdale was one of the worst-affected areas.

Flood defences at Rochdale substation were upgraded in 2010 as part of a £468,000 scheme to protect power supplies against a "one-in-200-year" flood.

Mr Danczuk said that although the Environment Agency had been pressed to do more prevention work, because of cutbacks we "could not expect that to happen".

Soldiers from 2 LANCS rest for a few minutes awaiting the next task as the British Army assists the Environment Agency with the Christmas floods (Ministry of Defence/PA)
Soldiers from 2 LANCS rest for a few minutes awaiting the next task as the British Army assists the Environment Agency with the Christmas floods (Ministry of Defence/PA)
A Christmas wreath hangs on the door of a house on a flooded residential street next to the River Foss, after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Furniture is seen piled high in the window of a house on a flooded residential street next to the River Foss, after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A flooded residential street is pictured next to the River Foss after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A submerged car is pictured on a residential road next to the River Foss after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A man on a bicycle turns back from a flooded residential street next to the River Foss after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Businesses continue the clean up in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire after the weekend's flooding.
People being rescued by soldiers and emergency services in York city centre
Flooded riverside properties in Kings Street, York, as swamped towns and cities continue to struggle against the Christmas floods.
Businesses continue the clean up in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire after the weekend's flooding.
The River Irwell
The Army assists the Environment Agency as swamped towns and cities continue to struggle against the Christmas floods (Ministry of Defence/PA)
Flood water by a bridge in Cawood, between York and Selby
Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose Rochdale constituency has been hit by flooding, said money should be spent in the UK rather than overseas
Insurance companies say they are visiting areas hit by floods
A man wades through flood waters at Hebden Bridge, where flood sirens were sounded after torrential downpours
A flooded railway line at Kirkstall, Leeds
Sandbags are placed on top of the flood defences along the River Ouse in York city centre
Rescue teams in Whalley, Lancashire, after the area was hit by downpours
Soldiers helping to set up flood defences in Appleby as the Army was called in to help protect flood-hit areas of Cumbria (Ministry of Defence/PA)
The River Ouse in York, where riverside properties have been flooded again.

He said: "It's been awful, terrible for people who have been affected, we need to put that rights as soon as possible.

"It's all about prevention - I think more could have been done, I don't think there's any doubt about that. I think the Environment Agency could have done more to prepare for this. We would have anticipated this and concerns were raised with the Environment Agency."

After the severe flooding in Rochdale, engineers from Electricity North West worked round the clock to repair damage to flooded substations and to re-route supplies to restore power.

The company said it has now successfully restored supplies to more than 23,000 customers.

Paul Bircham, strategy director for Electricity North West, said: "I'd like to thank customers for their understanding and their goodwill to our teams during what continues to be an enormously challenging time for everyone involved. We are immensely proud of the area and the people we serve in the way they have dealt with this incident."

This morning Prime Minister David Cameron will tour communities in the North of England left devastated as a result of Storm Eva and Desmond and Mr Danczuk said he hoped the visit would help focus on providing funding for those affected.

The MP added that he hoped that the area would benefit from a compensation scheme like Cumbria.

The Government is to provide £40 million funding to help repair and rebuild flood-damaged roads and bridges in Cumbria and Lancashire.

The Department for Transport (DfT) will provide the funding to help communities recover from the effects of the two storms by helping to fund the repairs to key local transport infrastructure.

Mr Danczuk added: "That prevention work has to be done and it hasn't been done and it has been raised on numerous occasions. The Environment Agency has been pressed to do that work but hasn't been able to do it because of funding - you can't cut back on (infrastructural projects) and not expect flooding to happen."

With more rain forecast for the middle of the week, there may be worse to come and the Environment Agency has more than 25 severe flood warnings in place.

On Twitter, it reiterated the dangers of floods, tweeting: "Remember to stay away from flood water. Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet. #floodaware".

As yellow warnings for rain on Wednesday are in place for areas of northern England, communities continue to rally together in their clean-up operation.

In Whalley, in the Ribble Valley, the River Calder has now receded after wreaking havoc on businesses and residents on Boxing Day.

The Whalley & District Lions Club was meeting on Monday morning to help those affected by the floods in the Billington area, urging people to give up their time.

Donations of cleaning products such as mops and buckets are being taken as well as blankets, water and sleeping bags.

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