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Government Funding For Flood Hit Areas
Press Release Issued by the Department for Communities & Local Government
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has announced that 36 local authorities affected by the July floods will receive a share of £6.2 million of Government funding to help the people in their communities in the greatest need.
The money is part of the flood recovery package announced by the Prime Minister to help vulnerable individuals and families. Over the last few weeks Government has worked closely with local authorities to clearly assess the extent of damage so funding could be released as quickly as possible. The money will be paid into the accounts of councils tomorrow in order for them to make a quick and real difference to the lives of those people in the greatest need.
More Government help with the costs of immediate action to safeguard life and property will follow through the special Bellwin Scheme. In addition specialist central government officials from areas including transport, schools and housing are working with authorities to get a clear assessment of the costs and consequences of the floods so further targeted help can follow.
A total of £6.2 million will be paid to 36 local authorities. Just under £2.5 million of this will go to councils in the Gloucestershire area, which was particularly badly affected in the July floods. The money has been allocated to reflect the relative number of households affected. Up to £3.8 million remains available for further distribution as information on the impact of the July floods improves by the day.
Local authorities will decide how to spend the money to help flood-hit members of their communities get back on their feet. To date Government funding allocated to communities affected by the June floods has helped over 5,000 families. Some examples of the expenditure include:
Over 5,000 cheques, ranging from £150 to £750, have been distributed to those most in need.
Over 700 white goods including fridges, cookers and washing machines as well as nearly 1,900 items of furniture have been distributed so people can continue to live in their homes.
Twenty-five caravans for temporary accommodation helping to keep communities together.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said;
"I have seen for myself the devastation caused by the recent floods. Having spoken with people and businesses affected I know what a difficult time this is for them. That is why Government is committed to doing everything it can to support the local authorities help communities get back on their feet as soon as possible.
"As part of this I am pleased to announce £6.2 million is being released to flood-hit communities to help those most in need and will be in local authority bank accounts tomorrow. I know this money will help - as similar support has made a difference in areas hit by earlier flooding. But I also know more is needed. Once we have received an updated assessment of the damage more targeted help will follow, including extra support through the Bellwin scheme as well as additional help with costs associated with transport, housing and schools.
"Over the coming days and weeks I, and other Ministers, will continue to visit affected communities. It is important we see for ourselves how the recovery is progressing and make sure communities are getting the support they need. I know this will not happen overnight but I want everyone to know Government is in this for the long haul."
: 17/08/2007 13:15:34
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