Windermere flood defence rejection challenged

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The government has "turned its back" on Backbarrow, Windermere and Bowness, Tim Farron says

The government is being challenged over its rejection of flood defence plans.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said schemes in Windermere, Bowness and Backbarrow had been turned down for not meeting "cost-benefit criteria".

"After promising the earth after Storm Desmond, it's absolutely shameful that the government have now decided to turn their backs," he said.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it was investing "up to £72m" in Cumbria flood defences.

Mr Farron, who represents Westmorland and Lonsdale, will raise the issue in Parliament next week.

"Michael Gove must rethink this short-sighted decision which will have dreadful consequences for both tourism and local residents," the former Lib Dem leader said.

The government had "failed to take into account the broader economic impact that failure to provide flood defences will have on tourism and businesses," he said.

A Defra spokesperson said: "We are investing up to £72m in flood defences in Cumbria up until 2021 - better protecting more than 4,300 homes.

"We are working hard to meet our longer-term goals to help better protect the country from the devastating effects of flooding.''

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