A European Parliament member for the South East has written to local council leaders urging them to work with her to apply for flooding funding from the European Union (EU).

Liberal Democrat MEP, Catherine Bearder has written to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council leader, Councillor Clive Sanders and Hampshire County Council leader, Cllr Roy Perry asking for their support in applying for cash from the EU Regional Development Fund to finance flood defence infrastructure projects.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the South East MEP was told by the Government that they will not be applying for funds from the EU’s Solidarity Fund.

But now the MEP has been told that local councils who have been affected by flooding can apply for funding from the EU Regional Development Fund to help fund projects for new infrastructure to prevent the future flood risk.

MEP Catherine Bearder said: “These floods have been horrendous and have devastated so many over the festive and New Year season. As the national government have not applied for EU funding I am now offering my support to work with these councils to obtain these much needed funds.

“I was so pleased to see measures for mitigating the effects of climate change included in the new round of regional development funding that will mean these areas have a real chance of getting the funding they so badly need.”

She added: “I hope these councils will want to work with me to obtain this funding which offers the real potential to keep North and West Hampshire drier and safer and to put residents’ minds at ease when storm clouds gather overhead.”