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Flood Control: Finance

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what criteria her Department will use for allocating European Union solidarity flood funding. (198396)

The recommendation to award the UK funding from the European Union Solidarity Fund to assist with recovery from the floods of 2007 was approved by the European Union Budgetary Committee on 28 February 2008. We are currently working alongside the European Commission to draft the implementation agreement which will allow the money to be paid to the UK, and we expect to receive the money in spring.

The nature of the EUSF is that it is to reimburse emergency operations undertaken by public bodies, including central Government.

Regulations governing the EUSF state that it can only be spent on works in the following four categories:

immediate restoration to working order of infrastructure and plant in the fields of energy, water and waste water, telecommunications, transport, health and education—in most circumstances costs relating to energy, water, waste water and telecommunications will not be covered as these costs are borne by the private utilities companies;

providing temporary accommodation and funding rescue services to meet the immediate needs of the population concerned;

immediate securing of preventive infrastructures and measures of immediate protection of the cultural heritage; and

immediate cleaning up of disaster-stricken areas, including natural zones.