Cumbria floods: Parliament told of personal cost

Lynne Jones, Keswick Flood Action Committee
Image caption Lynne Jones runs a guest house in Keswick which has been flooded three times

MPs have been hearing about the personal cost of December's floods in Cumbria.

Lynne Jones, from Keswick Flood Action Group, told the Commons Environment Committee she feared her business was now impossible to insure or sell.

Her guest house has been flooded three times in ten years, despite £30,000 spent on "flood-proofing", she said.

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the amount spent on flood defences in the region.

'Trapped in homes'

Ms Jones said she did not know if her insurance company would pay and, if it did, she still faced paying 25% of the final cost because of her policy excess.

"We are all trapped in our homes," she said.

"My property had been up for sale for a year, we've just taken it off the market - it's no point, no-one is ever going to buy it.

"I have got to live with flood risk into my dotage."

Image caption The damage caused by flooding in Cumbria is estimated at £600m

Ms Jones said the "devastation" of bridges and roads was a "disaster for a community that's dependent on tourism and people getting from one side of the Lake District to the other".

MPs also heard from business leaders and councillors outlining the estimated £600m damage done to the county and the effect on residents.

Cumbria County Council cabinet member Keith Little said: "In the 2009 floods, the health authority was telling us that up until 2012 people were still coming forward with mental health issues."

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