Bills for flood-prone homes to be lowered

Northumberland County Council has reiterated its commitment to helping the victims of winter storms '“ as a new flood insurance scheme is launched.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 11:37 am
The River Till flooded the basement of Heatherslaw Mill in the storms in early January.

The county suffered substantial damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure during flooding and severe weather in December and January – leaving it with a repair bill of more than £24m.

Last month the government confirmed it would provide £14.6m towards repair costs. It will allow the council to progress work on a number of vital schemes, including repairs to Ovingham Bridge, landslips at Bywell and Widehaugh and works in Corbridge.

This week a new scheme called ‘Flood Re’ was introduced which is designed to cut bills for those whose homes are in danger of flooding.

Previously, thousands of householders have been paying large additional premiums to make sure their homes and possessions are protected.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Around 350,000 homes across the UK could benefit - although the cost will ultimately fall on ordinary policy-holders, who will pay an extra £10.50 on their premiums on average.

Since the first flooding in December the council has worked to support affected areas, from the initial clean up to providing financial help, while encouraging MPs to help press its case to Government.

It has also been working with the Government to engage insurance companies in providing the new scheme.

Cllr Davey added: “While it is disappointing we were unsuccessful in obtaining our total bid, the amount provided to repair our infrastructure was a significant contribution which is enabling us to carry out some major work.

“We know the impact the winter storms had on many of our communities and we’re committed to helping them in every way we can – whether it’s work on the ground or longer term solutions.

“This new insurance scheme should benefit at risk households and hopefully mean the return of affordable cover for many residents.”