Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the news that Worcester City council is eligible for government support for people affected by flooding following Storms Dennis and Ciara. This comes after the government activated the emergency Bellwin scheme after Storm Ciara on 10 February and Storm Dennis on 17 February 2020.

Under the Flood Recovery Framework and as some affected areas move into recovery, families and businesses will receive funding from their local councils after a set of support packages were announced by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP.

Robin, who has been in Worcester for the past few days to offer his support to those affected, visited the Diglis House Hotel and spoke with the management and also attended the Rest Centre at Perdiswell Leisure Centre. He also met with Chairman Fanos Hira of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, local Environment Agency Representatives, and Minister for the Environment Rebecca Pow assessing the damage of the flooding first hand.

Robin also met with local flood campaigner Mary Dhonau to discuss the flood risk management jigsaw and how homeowners can be supported in restoring their properties.

The scheme has been activated for areas in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, including Worcester City Council. Under the Bellwin scheme, local authorities dealing with the effects of the storm can apply to have 100% of the eligible costs they incur above a threshold reimbursed by the government.

Under the measures announced:

  • Flood-hit households in affected areas can apply for up to £500 in financial hardship payments to give cash quickly to those in short-term need.
  • Households and businesses significantly affected by recent flooding will be eligible for 100% council tax and business rates relief for at least three months.
  • Small-to-medium sized businesses in affected areas which have suffered severe, uninsurable losses will be eligible for up to £2,500 from the Business Recovery Grant.
  • Flood-hit homes and businesses can apply for up to £5,000 to help make them more resilient to future flooding.
  • The Local Government Secretary also announced the government would convene the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce, including environment, businesses and transport ministers, to provide individual areas with bespoke support and guidance. The first meeting will take place this week.

Over 900 Environment Agency staff are on the ground operating flood defences and temporary pumps, clearing debris from rivers, inspecting flood defences and supporting affected communities.

Environment Agency operational teams have put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country and flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the impacts of Storm Dennis.

Speaking after the funding announcement Robin said:

“Floods will always be a major concern for me as MP for Worcester and this funding will offer vital support to people and businesses affected by the flooding to get up and running, while also helping ensure greater protection against future flooding events.”

“My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the latest flood and I will be working with Worcester City Council to ensure that they are well supported to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. My team and I have been helping to signpost constituents affected to access support.”

“I want to thank everyone who is involved in the emergency response, doing their very best to keep the people of Worcester safe, it has been heartening to see many work around the clock and I am incredibly grateful for their efforts.”

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“Storms Dennis and Ciara have severely impacted a large number of households and businesses – and I recognise how destabilising this can be.”

“This extra support, including new funding, will help people in the worst-hit areas to recover and get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

“I’d like to thank the emergency services and key agencies on the ground for their dedication and tireless work to help everyone affected in extremely challenging circumstances.”

Environment Secretary Rt Hon George Eustice MP said:

“We’ve once again seen the devastating effects of floods on households and communities across the country. I want to thank our Environment Agency teams working on the ground around the clock with partners to deal with the ongoing impacts.”

“We know climate change means extreme weather events like this are more likely, and are already investing £2.6 billion in flood defences by 2021, with over 600 projects already protecting 200,000 properties. This crucial funding will help people to make their homes more resilient and better protected if flooding happens again.”

ENDS

Notes to editors 

For more information on the EA and its work locally see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

For the latest flood warnings broken down by geography see:

http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood/31618.aspx

For information on how to prepare for flooding visit:

https://www.gov.uk/floodsdestroy

For Robin’s previous releases on flooding see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-backs-riba-campaign-to-build-a-better-britain/

http://www.westmidlandsconservatives.com/news/walker-praises-local-businesses-and-residents%E2%80%99-response-floods