Headlines: November 10th, 2008

Twenty-five local councils are to get a share of more than a million pounds in funding towards the cost of helping 1,500 families hardest hit by last year’s severe flooding to pay their council tax bills. The money will go to authorities that are giving council tax discounts so that families are not faced with bills for homes they could not live in.

The number of families still out of their homes is reported to have more than halved since the end of June, and now stands at about 1,100. Initially 48,000 homes were affected by the floods and although the problem was widespread, the Department for Communities and Local Government believes progress in getting people back into their property compares well with what happened after flooding in Carlisle in 2006 where one in ten displaced households were still not back in their homes 18 months later.

The new funding means the cost of Government support to communities hit by last year’s flooding has now reached more than 134 million pounds. The latest payments will see more than 400,000 pounds going to Hull City Council to help 500 families and almost a quarter of a million pounds to help about 130 families in the Tewkesbury Borough Council area.

The Floods Recovery Minister, John Healey, has also given details of support being offered to areas of the North East of England which were affected by flooding this September. People from all 906 flooded homes in Morpeth and 58 in Rothbury have been contacted by their local authority and offered help.