Package of support announced for storm-hit areas

The government has announced thousands of pounds of support including grants, council tax relief and business rate relief for people and businesses in areas affected by flooding.

Under the Flood Recovery Framework and as some flood affected areas, following Storms Dennis and Ciara, move into recovery, families and businesses will receive funding from their local councils after a set of support packages were announced by the Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Under the measures, flood-hit households in affected areas can apply for up to £500 in financial hardship payments to give cash quickly to those in short-term need. Additionally, households and businesses significantly affected by recent flooding will be eligible for 100 per cent council tax and business rates relief for at least three months.

Flood-hit homes and businesses can apply for up to £5,000 to help make them more resilient to future flooding. Jenrick also announced that the government would convene the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce, including environment, businesses and transport ministers, to provide individual areas with bespoke support and guidance.

The measures apply only to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more flooded households as a result of Storms Ciara and Dennis.

Jenrick said: “Storms Dennis and Ciara have severely impacted a large number of households and businesses – and I recognise how destabilising this can be. This extra support, including new funding, will help people in the worst-hit areas to recover and get back on their feet as soon as possible. I’d like to thank the emergency services and key agencies on the ground for their dedication and tireless work to help everyone affected in extremely challenging circumstances.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We’ve once again seen the devastating effects of floods on households and communities across the country. I want to thank our Environment Agency teams working on the ground around the clock with partners to deal with the ongoing impacts. We know climate change means extreme weather events like this are more likely, and are already investing £2.6 billion in flood defences by 2021, with over 600 projects already protecting 200,000 properties. This crucial funding will help people to make their homes more resilient and better protected if flooding happens again.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of hampering the recovery effort as flooded towns were evacuated and parts of Wales were braced for more downpours.