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Clarity required on storm damage funding

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Welsh Conservatives have called on Welsh Labour to clarify the amount of money available to help local authorities repair storm damage, along with exactly how it will be allocated.

The Shadow Minister for Environment has labelled the effects of recent severe weather ‘unprecedented’. Russell George has called for Labour to ensure that no local authority is left ‘desperately raiding reserves’.

Earlier the week the Minister for Natural Resources said there would be no ‘blank cheques’ for repairs, but refused to elaborate on the extent of Welsh Government support available.

Mr George said:

“The scale of storm damage is unprecedented and Welsh Labour support for repairs must be clear, efficient, and swift.

“The last thing local authorities need is a Labour minister speaking in riddles and a contingency fund as clear as mud.

“Councils are facing enormous clean-up and repair operations. They should not be left desperately raiding reserves and all possible support should be made immediately available.

“Labour’s announcement of a flooding review is welcome and follows many months of Welsh Conservative calls for further importance to be placed on coastal defences.

“In the short term – help for councils and Natural Resources Wales must be clarified and easily available.”

Shadow Minister for Local Government, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, said:

“The government’s contingency fund is there for emergencies like this and Welsh Labour must spell out exactly how it will be used.

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