William Eichler 17 February 2020

Government activates emergency fund in the wake of Storm Dennis

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick today activated the Government’s emergency financial assistance scheme for areas affected by Storm Dennis.

The Bellwin Scheme – named after Lord Bellwin, a former Department of the Environment minister – enables local authorities dealing with the effects of a disaster to have 100% of the eligible costs they incur above a threshold reimbursed by the Government.

In recent years, the scheme has been activated in the aftermath of the 2005 explosion at the Buncefield fuel depot, flooding in Yorkshire, the Midlands, Cumbria and the North West during the 2000s, the 2011 riots, flooding in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and the Grenfell Tower disaster of 2017.

The scheme has now been activated for qualifying areas in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Herefordshire which have seen significant impacts over the weekend following Storm Dennis.

Over 900 Environment Agency staff are on active incident duty and teams have put up more than 3.5km of temporary flood barriers across the country, according to the Government.

‘I’d like to praise the work of all emergency responders this weekend as well as local authorities and key agencies for working around the clock to keep us safe,’ said Mr Jenrick.

‘The Government is doing everything it can to ensure communities are supported in recovering from flood damage, and by activating our emergency financial assistance scheme, we are making sure that those places hit the hardest will be able to access funding to help them deal with the aftermath of the storm.’

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