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Storm Dennis

Volume 682: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2020

What additional funding the Government have provided to communities in Wales affected by Storm Dennis. (907296)

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury wrote to the hon. Gentleman last week to confirm that he is expecting to provide £2.5 million needed for the tip repairs in Tylorstown, in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency. The letter also clarifies that the Chief Secretary is waiting to hear further from the Welsh Government on an additional request to access the reserve.

That was useless yet again. I have been asking for the money for the Rhondda for months. The Prime Minister wrote to me in June saying that he recognised that Wales had been particularly badly hit by Storm Dennis and that the UK Government would look seriously at any requests for funding. I am delighted that we have got the £2.5 million for the Tylorstown tip, but we need £60 million to mend culverts and drains and to make people’s houses secure in Pontypridd, the Rhondda and across the whole of Rhondda Cynon Taf. Make sure you earn your money by getting us the money in the Rhondda.

What a contrast with the conversation the hon. Gentleman and I had last when I reported this news to him; he was charm and diplomacy itself then, yet when he gets in the Chamber with an audience, he becomes a different personality. I will remind him, just in case he has forgotten, what the Chief Secretary’s letter actually says. Among other things, he says, “I am expecting to provide the required funding.” That is in relation to the Welsh Government confirming they will make a reserve claim for 2020-21. So this process is under way. It does require the Welsh Government to come to the party, too, but they have not yet done so. Of course a lot of this is in the devolved space, so the hon. Gentleman cannot just pick and choose which bits of devolution suit his desire to make a statement in the Chamber.