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Stamford and Grantham MP Gareth Davies reflects on the response to flooding following Storm Henk

For many in our area, life will be returning to normal after a period of festive celebration throughout Christmas and into the new year, writes Stamford and Grantham MP Gareth Davies.

This is particularly true for local children who have returned to school, and I wish them all the very best for the second half of the academic year. At the end of 2023, I was fortunate to speak to students at Priory Ruskin Academy in Grantham, and I look forward to visiting more wonderful local schools this year.

For some, however, I know that this past week has been challenging with significant local flooding following Storm Henk, and my thoughts are of course with all those who have been affected. I have been in regular contact with the Environment Agency, government ministers, Lincolnshire County Council, parish councils and Anglian Water to do all I can to ensure that local people can access the support they need.

Gareth Davies
Gareth Davies

Sadly, I am aware that around 60 properties within the constituency of Grantham and Stamford have been flooded, with the worst affected areas including parts of Stamford, Bourne, and villages such as Greatford and Tallington.

Alongside residential properties, I was disappointed to hear that a number of businesses have also been affected, especially some farmers who have seen their fields flooded.

Throughout this testing period I have been struck, although not surprised, by the strength of community spirit between villages, local charities, and businesses who have come together to aid their neighbours in need. This was clear in Tallington and Greatford, where parish councils led fantastic work by charities and community groups to assist residents to access basic toilet and other facilities in village halls and community centres, aided by neighbouring villages and local authorities along the way.

Of course, I must also pass on the thanks of all in our area to our wonderful Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service for their outstanding efforts throughout last weekend holding back floodwater and helping residents as best they could. I absolutely understand the worry this flooding has caused, particularly for those who have sadly seen their property damaged, so I was pleased to hear of the significant government support to aid our recovery and improve resilience against future floods.

Through the property flood resilience repair grant scheme, eligible flood-hit property owners can apply for up to £5,000 to help make their homes and businesses more resilient. Flooded households and businesses in eligible affected areas will also be able to apply for grant cash to help with the most immediate costs and could be eligible for full council tax and business relief for at least three months.

As the backbone of our local economy, eligible small-to-medium sized businesses will be able to apply for up to £2,500 from the business recovery grant and farmers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their land will be able to apply for grants of up to £25,000 through the farming recovery fund.

I know that we all are thankful to those across our community who have come together in the face of this challenge, and I will continue to do all I can to make sure that our area is supported through the ongoing clean-up.

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