David Cameron pledges help on flood defences on visit to Wales

The prime minister said the UK government was very keen to offer help with the floods in Wales

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David Cameron has pledged to work with the Welsh government on flood defences during a visit to flood-stricken Newgale in Pembrokeshire.

He went to a seafront pub which has been renovated after storm damage before going to a factory in St Davids.

During the visit the prime minister tweeted his support for council tax rebates to people with flooded homes.

He said: "We're still waiting for the waters to recede to see how much damage has been done."

Start Quote

Most important for me is to learn the lessons of what more can be done, how can we make the warnings better, how can we make the flood defences better, how can we better protect our infrastructure?”

End Quote David Cameron Prime Minister

Mr Cameron told BBC Wales he was keen to help work on Welsh flood defences.

"We're very happy to work with the Welsh government," he said.

"Obviously flood defence work is a matter for them but we'll work together to see if there are lessons that we can learn, and obviously we were very keen to help during the floods."

He spoke to people affected by January's storms on a flying visit.

Mr Cameron arrived by helicopter and flew over Newgale's shingle beach twice before visiting the Duke of Edinburgh pub, which was flooded last month.

Ten people also had to be rescued from a bus on the seafront which was hit by a large wave.

After the storms the A487 coast road through Newgale was closed for days because of shingle pushed onto the road by the storms, but it was finally cleared last Friday.

The road through Amroth, further along the coast, was similarly affected.

Mr Cameron went on to visit St Davids Assemblies, a factory which makes industrial components in nearby St Davids.

Military support

The prime minister said he had offered flood help to Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones.

"I rang the first minister to offer any military support that might be necessary," said Mr Cameron. "We work well together."

David Cameron in Newgale David Cameron, visiting Newgale, said he wanted to "learn lessons" from areas which had been flooded
David Cameron in Duke of Edingburgh pub, Newgale The prime minister saw for himself the renovations after storm damage in a Newgale pub

His visit to Pembrokeshire followed trips on Monday to other areas affected by the recent floods.

Ministers have met leaders of the insurance industry in Downing Street to explain what they are doing to help victims of flooding across Wales and England.

Mr Cameron has urged insurers to deal with flood claims as quickly as possible, while some local authorities have announced plans to exempt residents forced out of their homes from part or all of their council tax bill.

While in Pembrokeshire the prime minister tweeted his support for councils taking such action.

Mr Cameron tweeted: "I can confirm we will fund councils that give council tax rebates to people whose homes have been flooded."

Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies said he was encouraged to see the prime minister in Pembrokeshire "to see at first hand how we have successfully managed the impact of flooding in Wales".

"We have noted with interest his suggestion that there may be further financial support available to help with the clean-up," he said.

"We assume that as the PM chose to make this announcement in Pembrokeshire, not England, there will be additional funding for Wales and our officials are following this up as a matter of urgency."

Learning lessons

Thousands of properties have been flooded in the UK since the severe weather began, with the cost to insurers expected to amount to more than £1bn.

The prime minister was visiting west Wales as he continues to tour all flood-hit parts of Britain.

He said he wanted to "learn lessons" from people affect by the floods.

"The first thing is to thank the people who have worked round the clock - like the local authority workers that I've met here in Pembrokeshire - to say thank you.

"But most important for me is to learn the lessons of what more can be done, how can we make the warnings better, how can we make the flood defences better, how can we better protect our infrastructure?

"Learning the lessons helps me to chair the Cobra committee back in London to draw together this national response to this very bad crisis."

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