Richmondshire District Council leader pledges to provide financial support to flooded households and businesses

A home in Reeth flooded in July 2019. Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Leaders of Richmondshire District Council have pledged to provide financial support to those affected by the flash floods on July 30.

Richmondshire District Council leader Councillor Angie Dale said the authority wanted to do as much as possible to help residents and businesses in Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Wensleydale that were hit by the floodwaters.

She will urge the council’s corporate board to approve a move to provide residents and traders in Leyburn, and villages including Reeth, Langthwaite, Fremington, Grinton and Bellerby and in Leyburn council tax and business rates discounts.

Cllr Dale said as the incident unfolded it had become plain there was extensive damage to properties and livestock across the rural area.

More than 250 domestic properties were flooded and over 40 businesses and 35 farms have been affected.

She said: “Nothing can restore what they have actually lost, but this is a way of giving that bit back to the communities affected. Some of the near misses were absolutely horrendous and the flooding has left sheer devastation in some places.”

The amount of discount will be dependent on whether the taxpayer has had to move out of the property whilst drying out, renovations take place or whether they have remained in the property that has been affected by the flooding.

However, it is understood some of the discounts will be up to 100 per cent.

Cllr Dale said following talks with Richmond MP and chief secretary to the treasury Rishi Sunak she was optimistic that the government would provide grants to cover the ongoing recovery operation.

The council has estimated its costs which would be recoverable through government schemes will be about £125,000.

The authority’s opposition leader Cllr Yvonne Peacock said she fully supported using some of the financial reserves the previous administration had built up to ease the pressures facing those hit by the flooding.

She said she was particularly concerned about the impact the flash flooding had on small businesses and would press the council to consider action to safeguard the local economy against such events.