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Minister visits flood-hit communities

Published: 8 Dec 2015 10:45

Flooding Minister thanks emergency responders.

Flooding Minister Aileen McLeod has paid tribute to emergency responders who have worked tirelessly to help local communities affected by severe flooding over the weekend.

On a visit to Hawick, which was particularly badly affected, Dr McLeod saw first-hand the impact on the local community, as well as hearing about Scottish Borders Council's flood management procedures.

Hundreds of homes across Scotland have already benefited from stronger flooding protection through the £42 million identified for flooding in the local authority capital settlement.

Over the last 6 years this funding has allowed local authorities to build seven new flood protection schemes, including Selkirk and Galashiels in the Scottish Borders . Hawick is next in line in the Scottish Borders for a flood protection scheme, and the Council is currently developing the preferred scheme in more detail and will seek feedback and input from the public via various consultation exercises.

Scottish Borders Council has also indicated their intention to apply for emergency funding to help deal with the the immediate and unforeseen costs of dealing with the flood damage under the Scottish Government's Bellwin Scheme, which was activated by the Deputy First Minster yesterday.

Dr Aileen McLeod said:

"I would like to thank our emergency responders who have been working round the clock to help those most in need.

"I also want to pay tribute to the many volunteers who by offering food, transport and support to their neighbours showed a community spirit that all of Scotland can be proud of.

"With further rainfall forecasted over the coming days, we expect traffic and services to remain disrupted. The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with SEPA and Transport Scotland to monitor the latest updates so that we ensure our local authorities and the emergency services get the support that they need.

"It is also important we recognise the impact of our significant investment in protecting people's homes and livelihoods from such extreme conditions. All of Scotland's existing flood defences worked over the weekend. This justifies the Scottish Government's commitment to continue investing in flood defences."

Notes to editors

The seven flood protection schemes funded over the last 6 years are in Forres, Galashiels, Inverness, Selkirk, Brechin, Almondbank and Greenock.