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Posted by: John Brace | 7th February 2014

Extra £7 million announced by government in funding for councils to help with flood costs: Will Wirral apply?

Extra £7 million announced by government in funding for councils to help with flood costs: Will Wirral apply?

                      

At a recent Cabinet meeting I heard Cllr Phil Davies talking about how some (£250,000) of the projected underspend for this year’s Budget was set aside to pay for the clean up and repairs to infrastructure after the floods in December. He said that although there was a government fund that local councils could apply to for emergency financial help following such events (called the Bellwin scheme), Wirral Council didn’t qualify as it hadn’t spent more than 0.2% of its annual budget which for Wirral is £930,432.

However the government has since announced a further £7 million of funding to councils for this kind of expenditure in what they call a severe weather recovery scheme. Half of it is for repairing roads damaged by flooding and the other half for expenditure incurred through supporting communities.

Applications for this money have to be made by February 19th February at 5pm and ministers have stated that all local authorities in England who apply and are eligible will receive the money. To qualify for the community element of the grant Wirral Council will need to show that “at least ten residential and/or commercial properties had been reported as flooded (water having entered the property)” in Wirral and that Wirral Council had “incurred expenditure on supporting their communities during the recovery phase”.

To qualify for the highways element Wirral Council would have to prove that the floods caused damage to parts of the highway of more than one and a half metres that they were responsible for. Whether Wirral Council qualify for this element I’m not sure. However as some of their expenditure on the community element side would seem to be eligible, here’s a link to the application form. After all if Wirral Council is entitled to the money why don’t they apply for it?

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