Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs today to request an urgent meeting in order to secure adequate funding for flood alleviation in Abingdon.
Writing to Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, Layla highlighted the “clear disparity” between flood spending in Oxford and Abingdon. Whilst the recently-scrapped Abingdon Flood Alleviation Scheme was projected to cost £9.7 million, a far more substantial £150 million is being spent on Oxford’s defences, according to recent projections.
The letter follows Coffey’s response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Layla Moran regarding flooding prevention in Abingdon. In her response, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State wrote that ‘[f]unding is allocated consistently across the country’, despite the apparent inconsistency in Oxfordshire.
Commenting, Layla Moran said:
“It’s vital that Defra and the Environment Agency sit down together with me to discuss this as a matter of urgency.
“I recently chaired a meeting at Abingdon Guildhall with local residents and the EA following their decision to scrap the Abingdon scheme, claiming it would result in minimal flood reduction. If the projected £150 million being spent in Oxford is anything to go by, perhaps a lack of funds is the real issue here.
“This shouldn’t be an either/or matter. The funds should be available to adequately support all communities at risk.”