Headlines: January 10th, 2008

The Government has repeated its commitment to long-term support for local authorities in those areas that were most badly affected my last summer’s floods. Further payments have been announced for two councils, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough and West Lindsey District, to help with recovery costs.

Floods Recovery Minister John Healey said he had been impressed during visits to many of the areas hit by the floods by the commitment of councils and other agencies in helping their communities get back on their feet.

“While authorities can be proud of the progress they have made so far there is a long way to go. That is why more Government support will be available – including further Bellwin payments – as well as help from the European Commission. The flood waters are long gone but the clear up and repair problems for many households, businesses communities have not. Government is therefore also committed to the long haul and to continuing our support for local authorities and agencies leading the recovery efforts,” he said.

The latest announcement of money under the Bellwin scheme, which helps covers councils’ costs for immediate action to safeguard life and property or to prevent suffering, will see more than 690,000 pounds going to Rotherham, bringing the total it has received so far to more that 950,000. West Lindsey will get an additional 20,205 pounds, taking its total to 130,000 pounds. In total 82 local authorities registered interest in making claims under the Bellwin scheme and the Government says its ready to make further payments in the next few weeks once claims are received. So far more than two million pounds has been paid to authorities under the scheme in addition to 63 million pounds of other Government support.