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Rural Affairs Secretary visits flood-hit communities

Published: 5 Jan 2016 16:39

Local authorities and partner agencies praised for hard work in managing flood hit areas.

Following ministerial visits last week including by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead met residents and local response teams in flood-hit communities earlier today.

Mr Lochhead visited Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, Brechin in Angus and Perth where he thanked the local authorities, utility partners, emergency services, SEPA and the Met Office for their hard work and commitment to managing the flooding.

He said:

"The last few weeks have seen unusually high levels of rain affecting some areas of Scotland – in fact this has been the wettest December on record. The Scottish Government's resilience committee remains in constant contact with the emergency services and relevant agencies as we continue to support affected communities and businesses.

"What struck me on my visits today was the amazing sense of community spirit – people have been flooded out of their homes, but everyone continues to rally around and help one another. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in these efforts over the last few weeks, including the local authorities, emergency services and responders. This has been an extremely difficult time for people who have been affected and our thoughts continue to be with these communities.

"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."

Ministers have taken part in regular meetings of the Scottish Government's resilience committee through the New Year period as national and local agencies have worked with communities to help them through the worst and return to business as usual.

Notes to editors

The First Minister and Environment Minister visited Newton Stewart on the 31 December while the Deputy First Minister visited Ballater in Aberdeenshire following flooding caused by Storm Frank.

Daily news releases have issued from the Scottish Government, with SGORR meetings happening regularly over the Christmas and New Year period.

For more information on the Better Environmental Regulation programme: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/waste-and-pollution/BER

The flood protection scheme funding has been made via the Local Authority Capital Settlement.

More information on the Bellwin Scheme: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/DFM-triggers-the-Bellwin-Scheme-20f6.aspx