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DFM triggers Bellwin Scheme

Published: 7 Dec 2015 16:02

Ministers will consider financial assistance in the wake of Storm Desmond.

Ministers will consider emergency financial assistance for any local authority to help deal with the costs of flood damage that occurred in the aftermath of Storm Desmond.

The Bellwin Scheme is a discretionary scheme to give financial assistance to councils who face an undue financial burden as a result of large-scale emergencies. There is no automatic entitlement to assistance and local authorities are expected to include a small amount within their annual budget to deal with unforeseen emergencies.

If this incident does not qualify for extra funding it can be included in any further claims in 2015-16.

Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney will consider all eligible expenditure under the terms of the Scheme when formal claims have been received from any local authority.

Flooding Minister Dr Aileen MacLeod will visit to Hawick tomorrow to see first hand the impact of recent flooding on the local community.

Mr Swinney said:

"Various parts of Scotland experienced emergency situations caused by the flooding over the weekend, in particular the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Tayside, Speyside and Moray.

"This Government is committed to helping communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible. I have today agreed to activate the Bellwin scheme which provides support to local authorities to assist with immediate and unforeseen costs of dealing with the latest flood damage.

"I would encourage everyone to monitor SEPA's Floodline website for the latest flood information and to sign up to receive Floodline warnings direct to their phone."

Notes to editors

The Bellwin Scheme operates under Section 155(2) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Councils may make applications for additional financial assistance for eligible expenditure over and above their threshold limit under the discretionary scheme.

There is no automatic entitlement to assistance and local authorities are expected to include a small amount within their annual budget to deal with unforeseen emergencies.