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Floods: Gloucestershire

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency have provided to (i) Tewkesbury council and (ii) Gloucestershire county council for flood prevention schemes since the flooding of July 2007; and if he will make a statement. (321053)

DEFRA provides grants to operating authorities in England to manage the risks of flooding and coastal erosion. DEFRA’s grants to the Environment Agency to tackle flooding increased from £499.8 million in 2007-08 to £659 million in 2010-11.

The Environment Agency has provided Tewkesbury borough council with £75,000 for capital improvement works. Some £119,000 has been allocated to Tewkesbury borough council for property level flood protection and resilience measures.

DEFRA has allocated Gloucestershire county council £200,000 for surface water management.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency have provided to (i) Tewkesbury council and (ii) Gloucestershire county council for repairs relating to flooding of July 2007; and if he will make a statement. (321054)

The Government made a comprehensive package of over £136 million available to support areas affected by the flooding of summer 2007.

This included around £19 million provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) through the Bellwin scheme. Flood-affected local authorities applied for help through the scheme, which provides financial assistance to local authorities dealing with emergencies. Exceptionally, the terms of the scheme were made more generous because of the circumstances of the 2007 floods.

Through the Bellwin scheme £2.8 million was provided to Gloucestershire county council and £350,000 to Tewkesbury borough council. In addition £950,000 was provided to the Gloucestershire police authority.

The other main elements of the £136 million package are:

Around £41 million from the Department for Transport for repairs to the local highway.

£30.6 million from CLG, through the Restoration Fund, that we have been able to release through a successful European Union Solidarity Fund bid.

£18.4 million from CLG for Flood Recovery Grant to support the recovery work of local authorities, and particularly their work with those in greatest and most immediate need. The latest £1 million released on 31 January was allocated to the nine local authorities with the highest number of households still displaced.

£13.5 million from the Department for Children, School and Families for schools and children's services affected by the floods. A total of 858 schools were damaged in the June floods and those in July.

Over £11 million from Regional Development Agencies for businesses affected in their regions.

Over £1.2 million from CLG for local authorities giving council tax discounts, so families do not face council tax bill for homes they could not live in.

£1 million which could be drawn on as contingency reserve by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for use by Jobcentre Plus to support additional demand for Social Fund Community Care Grants. DWP paid Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans totalling £810,891 to people on qualifying benefits to meet the cost of replacing essential household items.

£1 million from the Department for Culture Media and Sport to support rural tourism in England through promoting rural destinations and visitor attractions. It will also be used to fund a targeted marketing campaign for the regions of England and businesses such as B and Bs, caravan parks and attractions.

The Environment Agency has not provided funding to either Tewkesbury borough council or Gloucestershire county council for repairs relating to the 2007 flooding.