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Friday, 19 December 2014

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In defence of flood defences

THESE are nervous times as people begin to understand the extent of public spending cuts required to reduce the national debt.

Today we report on concerns being voiced about the possible impact on Cumbria’s police force, fire brigade and hospitals.

The Trades Union Congress has had its most extensive coverage for 25 years as it prepares the battle lines.

The focus will be on the future of front line workers such as the police, teachers and nurses.

But, make no mistake, cuts will run deep and there will be implications at all levels; and some not yet so obvious.

Take the Environment Agency, which might be looking to cut up to £300 million next year.

A fear voiced by Workington MP Tony Cunningham is that flood defence projects will suffer.

There is already a Commons petition against a possible flood tax on householders to make up any shortfall and cover flood defence work.

In West Cumbria’s case that would be a disaster following the events of last winter.

A flood tax would be totally unfair on householders and businesses here after what they’ve gone through.

We need a flood defence strategy that protects West Cumbria from a repeat of last November’s destruction.

It must be a priority and it is right to raise the issue now before it is swamped by more attention grabbing headlines.

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