Flooding (England)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 9th July 2007.

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Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party 3:31 pm, 9th July 2007

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who, in representing his rural communities, always ensures that they are not left out and are at the centre of concerns. He makes an important point. People in rural communities can often feel more isolated and, particularly where there is a settlement of only a few houses, the effects of flooding can be devastating. That is why I said earlier that it is important to ensure that the Government keep a long-term focus on these issues. When I went up to Carlisle after the flooding there, I found that some people's mental health problems had lasted for a significant period, so help from health and social services was important, as well as dealing with physical flood defences. I will certainly ensure that rural areas remain a focus of our concern.