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DFM triggers the Bellwin Scheme

Published: 31 Dec 2015 08:32

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

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 Frank.

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.

Mr Swinney said:

"Various parts of Scotland are experiencing emergency situations caused by the flooding after Storm Frank.

"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.

The Scottish Government's resilience arrangements are now running 24/7 and will provide Ministers with regular updates.

For SEPA live flood updates see www.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.

To sign up for free local Flood Warnings and regional Alerts, or for more information and advice on preparing for flooding, use SEPA's Floodline site www.floodlinescotland.org.uk or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.

Members of the public can also use the recently launched Report-a-Flood site http://www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/report-a-flood

The full alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the alerts, are available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/

For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14

The Scottish Government's Ready Scotland website provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org

Members of the public can also contact the Scottish Flood Forum, a charitable organisation funded by the Scottish Government that provides support for and represents those who are affected by or are at risk of flooding http://www.scottishfloodforum.org or call 01698 839021.