Following flooding earlier in December, the total number of households affected by flooding nationally last month was 16,000. The extent of the flooding across Yorkshire and the UK over the Christmas period was particularly concerning.
Mary spoke in Parliament on 6 January and to the media about the gap between what experts say we should have spent on flood defences, and what the Tory Government actually spent. Figures from the House of Commons Library revealed that the gap between the recommended spending - in excess of inflation - by the Sir Michael Pitt Review and the actual Tory spend was £240 million. Mary argued for the need for continued investment to safeguard communities against the national security threat that flooding represents. She also said that the Conservative approach of only putting their hands in their pocket in years of heavy rainfall is failing residents, businesses and the economy.
Mary said, “I am very pleased that after the 2007 floods I got £15 million for flood defences in Wakefield. Thanks to that investment we were not impacted by these recent floods, but flooding did hit a number of houses and businesses in Calder Vale and Horbury Bridge. When I visited them on Saturday, people told me they were concerned about the availability and affordability of flood insurance.”