Hope of Government grants for homes and businesses to prevent flooding

Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Grants of up to £5,000 could be provided to homes and businesses in Richmondshire affected by the flash floods in July to prevent further flooding.

The Government announced earlier this month that money was being made available following the flooding in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Members of the Richmondshire District Council’s corporate board were told last night that officers were hopeful the money would also be available to those affected by the flash floods in the Dales in July.

However, it was decided at the meeting that the council would not provide additional funding for households and businesses who were not insured or could not get financial help elsewhere.

The meeting heard that in addition to the council’s scheme providing discounts on business rates and council tax for the affected communities of Reeth, Grinton, Arkengathrdale and Leyburn there were also grant schemes available from several sources – including Defra, Two Ridings Foundation and the Local Enterprise Partnership – all of which could help local people and businesses.

However, it was previously suggested that further flooding assistance was required.

Following this claim a council task group was formed to look at whether additional bespoke grants were needed.

But group members agreed last night that this was not the case as flooding losses could either be covered by insurance or by the existing grant schemes.

Officers were asked to continue to help communities to develop emergency plans and to assist businesses with their business continuity planning.

As part of that work officers will continue to monitor whether there are any areas of financial loss not covered either by insurance or grant schemes.

“Flooding is uppermost in our thoughts – especially for the people affected this summer,” said council leader, Councillor Angie Dale.

“If there is genuinely an area that Richmondshire District Council isn’t covering in terms of flood relief we will look again – but currently we believe the measures we have in place provide resilience.”

She said that officers will continue to develop emergency plans with local communities and businesses and signpost them to help and agencies.

Swaledale councillor Richard Good, who in October warned that numerous businesses were struggling to pay the additional costs the flooding had created, said he hoped there would be additional funding but he accepted the situation.

He said the help provided bye Two Ridings had “improved a great deal” in recent weeks and the position would be reviewed if there were businesses which could get no other financial help.

Cllr Good said if the Government grants were made approved for homes and businesses in the Yorkshire Dales they would be available for flood protection measures.