Cheshire West and Chester Council responds to news that the borough will not qualify for government flooding support

26 February 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council has promised more support for the recovery from the flooding events in the borough, following news that it does not qualify for government help.

Council leader Louise Gittins wrote to the Environment and Local Government Secretaries of State immediately after the January floods. She called for funding to be made available to help the borough safeguard against future events.

This was followed by a further call to action from all the borough’s MPs who lobbied the government for financial aid to support the recovery operation. 

The Council and its partners have now been informed that the MHCLG’s official Flood Recovery Framework will not be activated.

The response from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says: “At this moment based on data we have on the impacts of Storm Christoph, the picture suggests the numbers of flooded properties suffering internal damage was much lower than expected and below the numbers of properties flooded in previous events.” 

At the height of the flooding, 244 residential and 92 business properties were affected. In total, 152 properties were flooded, with 128 people evacuated from their homes.

Cheshire West and Chester Council was part of the multi-agency response to the flooding brought about by Storm Christoph. The authority has already spent more than £500,000 on the response and recovery phase, which included finding temporary accommodation for those who had to leave their homes. Businesses affected by the flooding have also been able to access a special contingency fund organised by the Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership. 
 
Now, the Council has committed a further £250,000 from its budgets to support schemes which will help the borough recover from the flooding. 

The Council will work with its partners to create a new fund that will continue to support residents and businesses and provide greater protection for properties at risk of future flooding.

Council Leader Cllr Gittins said: “It is disappointing news that the recent flooding events in the borough do not meet the criteria for extra government help. We will continue to lobby the government about this. 

“The Council and its partners have worked hard behind the scenes in the best interests of our community and we will continue to do so. 
“Whilst the Council continues to face unprecedented pressures on its finances, we will provide what extra help we can. We will continue to listen to those who have suffered as a result of the flooding and we will do all we can to help.”

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