Thomas Bridge 12 August 2014

Emergency flooding cash offered to Scottish councils

Emergency flooding cash offered to Scottish councils image

Emergency financial support has been offered to Scottish local authorities as severe weather and flooding continues to batter the country.

The Scottish Government announced late last night that it would be activating the Bellwin Scheme, which offers cash to councils hit with an undue burden as a result of difficult weather.

Town halls across the country are continuing to battle strong winds and torrential rain, protecting residents and their properties while evacuating those most at risk.

Scottish finance secretary John Swinney said: ‘As the full impact on local communities continues to be assessed, we stand ready to provide urgent assistance and the Scottish Government will consider applications from local authorities for emergency funding through the Bellwin Scheme.’

Environment minister Paul Wheelhouse added: ‘Councils, local fire and rescue services and other emergency services are working hard and fast to minimise the impact of flooding and where necessary moving people to areas of safety.’

The Moray Council has this morning begun to allow families evacuated from Elgin to return to their homes, after the level of the River Lossie began to recede. However town hall teams are currently travelling to support flooded homes in the village of Dallas, after hours of heavy rainfall left the site ‘marooned’ and plunged many homes ‘under water’.

A multi-agency partnership has been established to monitor the effects of flooding and high winds across the Highland region.

Highland Council offices were yesterday hit by flooding, while fallen trees and accumulations of surface water on roads caused travel disruption.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews yesterday said they had attended over 50 incidents in the Highlands, many of which involved motorists stranded after attempting to drive through flooded sections of road.

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV image

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV

The crisis in funding for CCTV systems is not being addressed by the government or the police and is leading to the curtailment of this vital service in local authorities across the country. How can we ensure that communities that want this service continue to receive it, asks Tom Reeve.
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