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Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what total funds were available for flood recovery across all Government Departments for (a) the county of Gloucestershire, (b) the borough of Tewkesbury, (c) the city of Gloucester and (d) the Cotswolds district. (155859)

To date, the Government have made available a significant package of £57 million to support areas affected by the flooding of June and July 2007. The county of Gloucestershire was allocated £2,623,000 of flood recovery grant, which includes £623,500 for the borough of Tewkesbury, £646,500 for the city of Gloucester and £623,500 for the Cotswold district council. Gloucestershire county council was allocated £1,007,900 from the Department for Children, Schools and Families. None of the other local authorities within Gloucestershire provide education or children’s services and thus were not eligible for this funding.

The Department for Transport has written to Gloucestershire saying that they will be allocated at least £10 million for highways works and there are ongoing discussions about further funding.

The Regional Development Agency with responsibility for Gloucestershire announced a £2 million flood recovery package for the region. Eligible businesses are able to claim up to a maximum of £2,500. As at 4 October 2007, 455 grant offers had been made, totalling £1,030,000 and 239 of these offers have been claimed, totalling £526,000 paid out by the Regional Development Agency.

This is additional money to that available under the Bellwin scheme. The scheme provides emergency financial assistance from the Government to local authorities, to help meet the uninsurable costs of immediate action to safeguard life or property or prevent severe inconvenience to inhabitants in the case of an emergency or disaster. In recognition of the exceptional nature of the recent flooding, special arrangements apply for these schemes. We have significantly extended the period for which the affected authorities can claim for eligible costs and increased the proportion of costs they can receive to 100 per cent. above the threshold.