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Government responds to the floods

Following the wettest winter since records began in 1910, the UK Government has announced a list of measures and schemes to help communities, businesses and farmers affected by the recent flooding.

The new measures include: a £5,000 “repair and renew” grant for all affected homeowners and businesses, a separate Business Support Scheme worth up to £10 million for SME businesses, a 100% business rate relief for three months for affected businesses, and £30 million for local authorities in England for road maintenance. It has also been confirmed that forty-two flood schemes have been given the green light, while fifty-five schemes start working in 2014 that will protect over 43,000 households.

The DCLG Secretary, Eric Pickles, has also announced changes to the Bellwin scheme in response to the flooding. The Bellwin Scheme helps local authorities recover the immediate and additional costs they incur when taking action to safeguard lives and properties. Under the new change, local authorities will be reimbursed for 100% of the costs incurred above the threshold, rather than 85%.

For more advice on responding to the floods, please see the Ecclesiastical Insurance website, the latest English Heritage report on Flooding and Historic Buildings, the National Canal Flood Appeal from the Canal & River Trust, alongside updates from the Environment Agency website.