Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Morecambe's MP hits back at critics after floods

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris has responded to critics of his work during this week's floods, who claimed he was nowhere in evidence during the disaster.

Some Skerton residents derided his perceived lack of presence online, pointing to Lancaster MP Cat Smith's work in her constituency. Some also emailed him direct to challenge his actions, while others sprang to his defence.

In his latest update on his official Facebook page yesterday, Mr Morris outlined his work over the past few days, making it clear what he has been doing to help. He has also refuted claims of inaction in emails to constituents.

"I have been in the area assessing flood damage which in Morecambe and Lunesdale was the Lune Valley. I was the first on scene yesterday morning to see the damage to the Loyne Bridge in Gressingham and I made sure that this repair was prioritised by the County Council as it is a vital route in the rural area," he outlined.

"I have also written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to secure any funding needed by the County Council to repair our flood damaged roads from the Belwin Scheme which has been set up for this purpose.

"I am sorry to report that the electricity is still not on the mains supply but would like to thank everyone for their patience at this difficult time. I have been constantly speaking to Electricity North West for updates and am posting any new news as soon as I get it on both of my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I know many of you I have spoken to have said how useful this has been and I will continue to do this until power is restored fully across the constituency.

"Please use your electricity carefully at the moment as overuse could lead to loss of power as the substation work is still ongoing, and there may be need for planned outages this evening, however once these have been confirmed I will update you.

"Now that temporary power is back, or for those who have battery radio please listen to The Bay for updates. I cannot praise the team at the Bay enough for their commitment to the community at this time even though their own station is flooded. When I went on air with Cooky and Darren yesterday lunchtime people were dropping cards off of thanks, which is a real credit to the Bay team!

"Some of you are concerned that the effort is being placed just in Cumbria and I would like to reassure everyone that this is not the case. I am leading our cause and taking it to Ministers and the department to ensure that all the support we need to get our area back to normal is given quickly. I also met with Floods Minister Rory Stewart MP yesterday to ensure that he was fully briefed on the issues we have been facing in North Lancashire.

"Thank you again to everyone for your patience in this time, I know that Electricity North West are working around the clock to get everyone connected. Should there be any further loss to power I have ensured that hot meal and drinks vehicles are sent to all areas of the Constituency so that everyone who needs them can access them but I am hoping that the electricity will hold until they find a more permeant solution.

"In the meantime I am carrying out my role by ensuring that you are all kept updated but that Government is updated on what is going on in the area to ensure that we have at our disposal all of the resources we need."

Following Saturday's flooding and the continued disruption to the area, Mr Morris will be posting any updates from agencies as he gets them on his twitter account and Facebook Page.

Follow him on Twitter @davidmpmorris


If you are in an emergency situation here are the numbers to call:

• Electricity North West 0800 195 4141
• Environment Agency 0345 988 188
• United Utilities 0345 6723 0723

• If you've seen either of our MPs out and about, why not let us know below? Who were your heroes and heroines during the crisis?

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