A MARKET town hit by devastating flooding four years ago has made a direct plea for the Government to urgently resolve an insurance "deadlock".
A working group in Morpeth, Northumberland, devised its own model for providing affordable insurance for at-risk householders after 1,000 homes and businesses were deluged in September 2008.
Now town councillor David Parker – a leading member of that working group – has written to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, in the wake of claims by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that long-running talks on a new agreement are at an impasse.
The existing agreement, struck in 2008, obliges insurers to provide cover for at-risk properties while the Government continues to improve flood defences.
Negotiations have been taking place for months in a bid to make sure the arrangement continues after next June.
However, this week’s claim by the ABI that talks are deadlocked have sparked fears that 200,000 homes in towns like Morpeth could be left without cover.
In his letter, Coun Parker says the town council is very concerned about the ABI’s comments, and feels Mr Paterson’s TV appearances did nothing to provide the reassurance required by thousands of people across the country.
It goes on: “The Government has been telling the public for 12 months that a deal with the ABI was close. It is about time that it was concluded.
“Already many people are unable to secure affordable insurance, including some in Morpeth, if they can get insurance at all.
“Morpeth Town Council, along with local partners, has been seeking to persuade the Government to act since the flood of 2008. The council proposed a solution more than two years ago: when are you going to act?”