Clare visited Moorland in Somerset yesterday, to meet with residents affected by the devastating floods of February 2014.
When the Somerset-levels flooded in 2014, residents of Moorland were left unprotected. Families were forced from their properties for months as the water wrecked homes and ruined lives. More than a year later, most of the homes damaged have now been repaired, the majority of residents have returned and the community has begun to bounce back.
At the invitation of local councillor and Moorland resident Julian Taylor, Clare joined residents at the village's weekly coffee morning, organised by village agent Kate Symonds, at the recently restored Moorland Village Hall. Here she met with local residents, some of whom have only recently returned to their homes. Clare learned more about their experiences of the last year, their frustrations at the repair process, their relief at returning to village life and the many problems that some residents continue to face, particularly with finding suitable and affordable insurance in the wake of such a natural disaster..
Nevertheless, as work continues to protect the levels against future disasters, questions remain about the Government's response in the days, weeks and months following the flooding, particularly the steadfast refusal by David Cameron and George Osborne to draw down on vital European Union funding available for just such emergencies.
"What was clear from the residents I spoke with was that a great deal of help and financial assistance that made a real difference by assisting communities like Moorland to respond to the disaster, came from charitable organisations and individuals. That shows the best of humanity, but you can't rely on that as a sustainable way of supporting people through emergencies and disasters.
"As a European parliamentarian the issue that concerned me at the time, and still concerns me, is that there was tens of millions of pounds which Mr Cameron did not draw down from Europe."
To read more about Clare's visit, see the Western Daily Press' article, here.