THE GOVERNMENT has refused to commit to fund a flooding scheme in Abingdon which was scrapped over spiralling costs.

A debate brought by Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran in the House of Commons on Wednesday called for the controversial decision to be looked at again.

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Therese Coffey, DEFRA Minister, however, said the scheme had a 'negative cost-benefit ratio' and so was not eligible for any support at all from a £2.6bn funding pot.

She added: “There is a lot of demand on the floods budget and it is not possible to deliver every proposal that would reduce flood risk. It is my duty as the responsible minister to take a national perspective on flood risk management, guided by the funding formula.”

She said she did 'not want to get the hon. Lady’s hopes up' over the Abingdon scheme, and confirmed that projected costs had doubled from £5.2m to almost £10m because the former costings came from a 'desk-based study'.

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Speaking after the debate, Ms Moran said she was 'disappointed' by the Government's response.

She added: “Our cash-strapped, resource-stretched local councils desperately need financial help if they are going to deliver the flood scheme that Abingdon badly needs. We have not forgotten the disastrous floods of 2007."

The MP said she will next meet with the Minister in private over the issue.