The Local Government Secretary has today (10 February 2020) activated the government’s emergency Bellwin scheme for areas in the north of England affected by Storm Ciara.
Under the scheme, local authorities dealing with the effects of the storm can apply to have 100% of the eligible costs they incur, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.
The scheme has been activated for qualifying areas in West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire which have seen significant impacts over the weekend following Storm Ciara.
Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
Storm Ciara has had damaging effects on communities in the north of England, and I want to praise the efforts of the emergency services and key agencies who have responded to the disruption.
We’re working closely with local areas to support them in their recovery. I’ve activated the emergency Bellwin scheme to provide financial support to qualifying affected areas.
The government has acted swiftly to support local areas affected by Storm Ciara. Environment Agency teams remain on the ground operating flood defences and supporting communities that have been affected by the severe weather. An estimated 12,000 properties have been protected by flood defences over the weekend.
The government will continue to monitor the risk of flooding and is working closely with Police, Fire and Rescue, local authorities, local resilience forums and partners to keep communities safe and to support their recovery.
Bellwin is a scheme of emergency financial assistance to help local authorities meet uninsurable costs they incur when dealing with the aftermath of an emergency in their area.
When the scheme is activated each local authority can claim for eligible costs above a set threshold.
Bellwin is regularly activated in times of emergency to make financial assistance available to local authorities.
The public can check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation at gov.uk/check-flood-risk, or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or following @EnvAgency on Twitter.