Southend Council's cabinet approved recommendations last night (Monday 23rd March) that could help up to 300 Southend homeowners and businesses access funds to carry out flood protection works. Full Council will now discuss the recommendations on Thursday 26th March.
The council will underwrite the costs of administering and delivering the scheme (£500 per property or up to £150,000 for administration and up to £1.5m for the actual works) which will pay for expert external assistance to help local homeowners and businesses take up the grant, arrange bulk-buying and oversee the contracts and installation of flood resilience measures to the value of £5,000.
The council will use Government grants to cover the administration and costs of the works, but needs to underwrite the costs at this stage. The delivery of the scheme would be carried out by the council’s appointed consultant for Flood Risk Management issues, URS.
URS will now write to 300 properties where internal flooding is known to have occurred within this period, telling them more about the scheme and assistance available and about financial relief that they could also be eligible for.
Cllr Martin Terry, Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste & Transport, said: “Anyone who has been affected by flooding will know how distressing the experience can be, even without the added anxiety of how you will pay for the damage and protect your property in future. For many local residents, this repairs grant and support scheme could offer some measure of financial relief and add resilience to their homes or places of work, so that they’re better protected and have greater peace of mind if similar floods occur in future.
"In the last couple of years, I’ve met countless people whose lives were shaken by unprecedented flash flooding – from pensioners whose homes have been inundated to businesses whose trade has been significantly damaged. That’s why I want to ensure that everyone who is eligible to receive financial relief or access grant to protect their properties has a fair opportunity to stake their claim.”
In November last year, the Council encouraged residents and businesses in known flooding hotspots to report flooding incidents to them. Now the Council is now making contact with these respondents and all other know flooding victims to ensure that as many affected people as possible are aware of the application process and are able to apply for relief.
For more information or if you believe you could also be eligible for a grant please visitwww.southend.gov.uk/flooding or firstname.lastname@example.org