Government help for flood hit area

Tynedale District Council is to be given help with meeting the costs of clearing up following severe storm and flood damage in the Council area in January 2005.

The Bellwin scheme, named after former department of the environment minister Lord Bellwin, provides reimbursement to local authorities for expenditure incurred for emergency action not normally insurable .

Jim Fitzpatrick, parliamentary under secretary of state, says: “I am satisfied that financial assistance under the Bellwin scheme is justified to help meet the remedial costs of clearing up in the Council area. A scheme will therefore be established under section 155 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Grant will be paid to the authority to cover 85% of the eligible costs above a threshold, which it has incurred in dealing with this storm and flood damage and water supply loss.”

Local authorities are required to notify the ODPM that they intend to apply for the scheme within one month of an incident. If approved they are usually reimbursed 85% of eligible costs above a threshold related to the authoriys annual budget.

The 2004-05 threshold for Tynedale District Council is 14,174, and the amount of financial assistance the authority will receive will depend on a final audit of its claim.