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Storm And Flood Damage, Galloway

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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13.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the widespread damage and loss caused throughout Galloway by the storm and floods of 22nd October; and whether he will make a suitable contribution to local funds organised to relieve distress.

My right hon. Friend is aware that some damage and loss did occur in the area, which has since been visited by his engineers. Various forms of remedial works may qualify for Government grant under the appropriate Acts, but, on present information, he does not consider that Government assistance to local relief funds would be justified.

If this storm had struck in Essex or the south of England, would it not have been a major disaster? Is my hon. Friend aware that local funds raised amount to only about one-seventh of the damage suffered by householders in the area, and will he say what assistance is to be given to the county councils to help in repairing roads, piers, breakwaters, bridges and the like?

There has been considerable damage to roads, and a joint inspection has been carried out by the county engineer and an engineer from the Department. The county council has already been informed that the bulk of remedial work will qualify for grants under the Coast Protection Act at the rate of 75 per cent, and the remainder at 50 per cent. of the cost of the work.

Does not the recurrence of these floods in this area show how inadequate are the two miserable flood prevention Acts which the hon. Gentleman supported and would not strengthen at our request?