In Cumbria and Lancashire the flood waters continue to ease and river levels are still falling. While there is further rain forecast for the area, it is not expected to be anything like as heavy as last weekend.
Many services have been restored but large numbers of people are still out of their homes and there remains a lot of work to do. As the flood waters begin to recede, our priority is shifting from rescue to recovery and getting those families affected by this week’s devastating floods back into their homes, and businesses back on their feet. Later today I will chair a further COBR meeting to assess where, and how, we can most effectively deploy further resources from across government to support affected communities.
We are not just ensuring every possible resource is available on the ground, we are also looking at what financial support can be offered, and yesterday my colleague, Communities Secretary Greg Clark, announced council tax and business rate relief for those flooded. Further packages of support will be confirmed in the coming days and councils have already had assurances on their uninsured losses through the announcement of the Bellwin scheme.
Yesterday I visited flood-hit communities in Cumbria and Lancashire where I witnessed the tremendous community spirit in response to these floods, as well as the heroic efforts of emergency services, the military and Environment Agency staff. I would like to again thank them all for their ongoing efforts and commend the resilience of those individuals as we recover from this unprecedented flooding which has hit so many people in the weeks before Christmas.
It is important to note there are still flood warnings in place and I would urge communities to continue to monitor the Environment Agency website and Twitter for the latest information.