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Prime minister Rishi Sunak gives Rutland flood victims sympathy but no money

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has offered no immediate relief for Rutland flood victims, despite being asked.

MP Alicia Kearns (Con) raised the matter at Prime Minister's Questions in The House of Commons on Wednesday (February 7).

She asked Mr Sunak: “Homes, farms and businesses in Rutland were also devastated, but our county is excluded from ever receiving support in the future due to the arbitrary flaw that is currently in place.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak was asked by Rutland MP Alicia Kearns about flood relief
Prime minister Rishi Sunak was asked by Rutland MP Alicia Kearns about flood relief

“Flood support is based on the most affected or a proportion of the population – but Rutland has to have one-thousand times more flooding than next-door Lincolnshire for us to ever access support. Will (the prime minister) please give a meeting to me… to discuss this important issue?”

Mr Sunak responded: “I extend my sympathy to all those impacted by the recent storms, and flooding. We are investing record sums in flood-defence across England, and the recovery support framework is in place to support families and businesses in every area that has experience exceptional flooding.

“I know [Mrs Kearns] is in touch with the The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities ministers to discuss how those schemes affect her constituency, but I will ensure that she gets the correspondence from meetings that she needs to deliver for her local communities.”

Details of a national flood relief scheme were announced by the Government on January 6. To be eligible, areas had to have more than 50 homes flooded and nowhere in Rutland met the threshold.

But Rutland County Council has just announced that people flooded out of their homes following Storm Babet or Storm Henk can now receive up to three months off their council tax.

Cllr Andrew Johnson (LibDem) said: “The government’s threshold for national flood relief dealt Rutland a particularly poor hand. We can’t access the funding that’s available to many other areas, including our nearest neighbours in Leicestershire, because of an arbitrary requirement to have at least 50 homes affected. This is clearly wrong.”

Rutland council has said that eligible properties must have been flooded internally between October 16 and 26 because of Storm Babet, or between January 2 and 12 because of Storm Henk, with flood water making the property uninhabitable for more than 48 hours.

The property affected must be the family’s main residence and applications for funding must be made by March 15.

Business premises, second homes, empty homes, holiday lets and outbuildings or garages are not eligible.

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