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MPs hear flood death Pc tribute

9 December 09 13:00 GMT

The heroic efforts of a Cumbrian police officer, who died directing motorists off a bridge that collapsed, have been praised by MPs.

Pc Bill Barker died last month when floodwaters swept away the Northside Bridge in Workington.

A temporary army-built bridge reuniting the town was named in his honour earlier this week.

In the Commons, Copeland MP Jamie Reed said Pc Barker "did instinctively what many of us wouldn't or couldn't do".

In a short statement to MPs, Mr Reed added: "I believe his sacrifice provides the definition of heroism for all of us."

Equally deserving

Mr Reed also called on the government to support the "forgotten flooded" in areas of Cumbria which did not receive high-profile media coverage.

He said: "Although Workington and Cockermouth were the most high-profile victims of the flooding, many other areas were affected.

"These forgotten flooded are equally deserving of government support and none must be left behind.

"After the media circus has moved on, as it now has, and when the drama has passed we are left dealing with the reconstruction.

"I seek assurance that the solidarity and support of the government will remain with the people of West Cumbria for as long as we need it."

Floods Minister Huw Irranca-Davies said the government had committed extra funds to Cumbria and the full cost of the operation would be met by the Treasury rather than local councils.

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