FLOOD defences and ‘significant’ transport investment are to be directed towards Barnsley after this week’s Budget 2020 announcement.
The borough’s MPs have reacted positively to the news that repeatedly flooded areas such as Barnsley – which has seen several areas devastated by floods after recent storms Ciara and Dennis – will receive £200m to build flood defences, with a further £120m made available for repairs to existing defences damaged in the winter floods.
Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, was recognised by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak for her campaign work to help flood victims.
The government has pledged to double its flood defence funding over the next six years to £5.2bn.
Stephanie said: “This is a welcome start and I am pleased the Chancellor has listened to my campaign for greater investment in flood recovery and defence.
“I will continue to push for more long-term, sustained investment to make sure that households, businesses and communities in Barnsley are better protected.”
Barnsley Central MP and Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has been working with the four South Yorkshire local authorities to develop a region-wide flood defence strategy – but he suggested this will cost in excess of £200m.
Dan added that the £166m to be directed to South Yorkshire’s transport network will make a ‘huge difference’ to the area, which has been blighted by issues with punctuality and reliability in its public transport.
He said: “We have had to fight hard for this cash, but it will make a big difference to people’s lives, and I welcome the announcement that there is more investment to follow.
“I’m also pleased that the government is investing more in flood defences, which is something I called for in my submission to the Treasury and have been fighting for since last November’s flooding.
“I’ll be asking the Government for clarity on what this means for South Yorkshire. We must get our fair share urgently, so we can protect families and businesses from the effects of the climate emergency.”
MP for Wentworth and Dearne John Healey welcomed the increase in flood defence funding, but criticised the Chancellor’s lack of recognition for social care and funding for low-cost housing – which he said is ‘still only half the level it was under Labour’.