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Government urged over flood work

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MPs have urged the coalition to ensure funding for flood defence schemes across the country.

Shadow environment minister Jamie Reed said spending cuts meant rural areas were most at risk, while Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland raised concerns about a deferred scheme in Leeds.

Labour's Mary Glindon said some North East residents were facing the prospect of "losing all home insurance cover" because flood defences were no longer guaranteed.

At Commons question time, junior environment minister Richard Benyon said the coalition was spending 8% less than the previous administration on flood defences - but Mr Reed claimed the reduction was 27%.

Mrs Glindon (N Tyneside) said: "People in the North East whose homes were devastated by the floods in 2008 have learned that planned flood defences have now been deferred.

"What message do you have for these people who, as well as living with the worry of future floods, have added financial concern of losing all insurance cover because these defences are not guaranteed to go ahead?"

Mr Benyon said: "Those schemes have not been rejected, they will be looked at again to ensure they can come forward with good value for money for the taxpayer."

He said ministers were working closely with the Association Of British Insurers (ABI) on the issue of home insurance.

© Press Association 2011