MSP’s anger over flood repair discussions

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson has voiced his concern at a lack of government action over flood repair costs.

The MSP tabled a question in parliament seeking answers on what type of discussions had be held over fixing the damage to the region’s coastal flood defence schemes following the spate of recent storms and flooding.

Speaking from his constituency office Mr Fergusson said: “Before asking my question in parliament, I spoke with council officials who informed me that they were engaged in discussions with the Scottish Government about possible financial assistance to deal with the dreadful flood damage that has been sustained.

“I was therefore stunned by the response that I have received from the government which states “we have had no specific discussions with the council about the cost of repairing coastal defences. Funding for coastal defences are included in the General Capital Grant, which is not ring-fenced and so may be used to fund the Capital Investment priorities of each council.

“Given that our region has suffered from two ‘extreme weather’ events over the last year, this is a deeply disappointing response from the Scottish Government – especially when the council maintains that it is in discussions with the government over a possible application under the Bellwin Scheme or other possible funding streams.

“Clearly, the first thing that has to be done is to identify the true position in regard to these discussions, and then to move the focus on to what funding might be available. That is what I will seek to do.”