William Eichler 08 December 2015

Councils to be fully-funded for clean-up costs in the wake of Storm Desmond

The areas that were most severely hit by last weekend’s storm will have 100% of their costs reimbursed, communities secretary Greg Clark has announced amid criticisms of cuts to flood defences.

The north west of England—in particular, Cumbria, Lancashire and Northumbria—have suffered devastating flooding in the wake of Storm Desmond, which has driven some from their homes and disrupted services.

Two people — in Cumbria and Northern Ireland — are also reported to have died as a result of the flooding.

Mr Clark has confirmed that councils will have all of their clean-up costs compensated through the Bellwin scheme.

The scheme ensures councils, police, fire and rescue, and National Park authorities that spend more than 0.2% of their calculated annual revenue budgets on clean-up can claim the money back from the Government.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: ‘The effects of Storm Desmond will be devastating to communities and families whose homes have been flooded – with many suffering this for the second, or even third, time in the last decade.’

‘We’re determined to stand squarely behind affected communities for the long haul, to help them get back on their feet and into their homes as quickly as possible’, he added.

The announcement has come at a time when the Government is being criticised for not investing enough in flood defences.

Between 2010 and last year £3.4bn was invested in defences but only £2.3bn has so far been promised for the 2015 to 2021 investment programme.

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