Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, today asked the Prime Minister to join her ministers in supporting a grant of £18 million for flood relief in Weymouth.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s questions, Drax said, “Will my right hon. Friend join a growing number of her Ministers who are very supportive of our bid for a one-off grant of £18 million to repair Weymouth’s harbour walls and improve flood defences? This work is essential if planning permission is to be granted to redevelop an important retail and housing area in the resort, thereby safeguarding existing jobs, creating new ones and providing more homes.”
The Prime Minister replied, commending Drax for his work, and saying, “I know he has worked hard on the issue of flood defences. I am sure, however, he will understand that Ministers need to consider the various options for allocations of the fund very carefully. We need to ensure we are getting the best possible outcomes across the whole country. The scheme to which he refers is on the list of projects being considered for the £40 million fund. It is intended to support high risk communities and I can tell him that we anticipate the decision will be made by summer 2018.”
Drax has long championed Weymouth in its bid to rebuild the harbour walls as flood protection for the town, arranging a meeting between DEFRA Minister Therese Coffey and Weymouth town councilors and more recently, lobbying and meeting Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick.
“The Ministers were all most supportive at our meetings,” says Drax. “There are several options for Weymouth including the coastal erosion fund, which is controlled by the environment agency and works on a formula depending on the number of properties at risk of flooding. Otherwise, the Minister has said there is potential for a one-off grant from the Treasury.”
“Weymouth’s future depends upon regeneration, creating new employment, homes and businesses which in turn, depend upon protection from flooding. I will continue to press for funds to do so until we have them.”