Winter 2015 Floods – Government Response December 20th, 2015 COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR Latest News Shares Comments Government information and advice about the support available following flooding in northern England. Government departments, councils and the Environment Agency are working together to do everything they can to help communities recover from the extreme weather during December 2015. The ground remains wet, and there’s rain forecast, so you should continue to check your flood risk and keep up to date by following @EnvAgencyand #floodaware on Twitter. Government support for homes, businesses, farmers and councils Households and businesses an additional £51 million to support households and businesses affected by the floods has been announced by the Chancellor. This takes the total support pledged by the government to over £60 million. In particular we will: •help the people directly affected by the floods – providing Local Authorities with over £500 for each household affected; for example, to help with temporary accommodation costs whilst we work to get people back into their homes •support people as they protect their homes against future floods by providing grants of up to £5000, so they can install new flood barriers, replace doors and windows with water resistant alternatives, or move electricity sockets up to a safer level •ensure flood affected businesses that have had their trading disrupted can get back on their feet, with funding equivalent to £2,500 provided to Local Authorities for each business affected and funding specifically provided for farmers to help restore their land We’ll have more information shortly on how households and businesses can get this support. The Community Recovery Scheme (worth nearly £40 million) will be run by local authorities and will provide targeted support on the same basis as in the floods in 2013 to 2014. Flood affected communities will not face Council Tax or business rates billsfor their homes and businesses for as long as they are out of their properties. Farmers Grants worth up to £20,000 will be available to farmers who have been affected by flooding to help restore damaged agricultural land. An application form and guidance will be available on GOV.UK from Friday 18 December. Farmers experiencing difficulties getting online can call the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301. The Rural Payments Agency has published guidance about farm inspections, animal movements, TB testing, impacts on Basic Payment Scheme eligibility, and other Cross Compliance requirements. Local authorities We will be opening the Bellwin scheme for councils affected by floods. Under this scheme, councils can apply to have 100% of their costs above threshold reimbursed by the government. We will help Cumbria and Lancashire assess the damage to the local highway network following the events over the weekend, to allow us to understand what additional local transport infrastructure funding could be provided to help repair roads and bridges damaged. Government action on flood defences Flood defences helped to protect 11,000 homes across the north of England, and provided vital time for homes and businesses to be evacuated as well as reducing the impact. Over the next 6 years we will be investing £2.3 billion in flood defences which is a real terms increase on the £1.7 billion invested in the last Parliament. This in turn is a real terms increase on the £1.5 billion spent between 2005 and 2010. In addition, flood maintenance spending will be protected in real terms over this Parliament. We’re providing an additional £10 million so that the Environment Agency can repair flood defences that were recently damaged. Flood insurance The insurance industry is responding with help for homeowners. The Association of British Insurers has published a film on how to protect your home if you live in a flood prone area, or make a claim if you’re recovering from a flood. You can find more information on the Association’s website. Health Guidance on recovering from floods: •Flooding: health guidance and advice •Food safety advice Advice and information •Flood warnings in England and Wales •Sign up for flood warnings •Prepare for a flood and get help during and after Met Office For the latest weather warnings visit the Met Office website or follow them on Twitter: @MetOffice. Highways England For advice on travel by road visit the Highways England website or follow them on Twitter: @HighwaysEngland. 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