Government urged to request funding from EU for help with cost of Doncaster floods

Council bosses have urged government ministers to request eligible funding from the European Union in order to help with costs of floods in Doncaster.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:03 pm
Thousands of people and animals were forced to leave their homes because of the flooding across South Yorkshire
Thousands of people and animals were forced to leave their homes because of the flooding across South Yorkshire

DMBC’s corporate services director Debbie Hogg told councillors that the government can request to access the European Union (EU) Solidarity Fund which was made available following flooding in other parts of Yorkshire in 2015.

But due to the current Brexit situation, it is unclear if the money can be made available.

Flooding in November hit many parts of Doncaster along the River Don, particularly in areas such as Bentley and the village of Fishlake.

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Around 500 properties were flooded with more than 1,000 being evacuated following unprecedented levels of rainfall.

Ms Hogg said the costs of the flooding aftermath were ‘not yet clear’ but it’s understood the bill is lower than the 2007 deluge which ran over the £10 million mark.

General reserves are being used to initially cover costs. From the latest figures, reserves stand at around £14 million.

The council are in discussions to claim money through the Bellwin scheme which offers reimbursements to local authorities through disasters and emergencies. Bosses said the threshold had been passed to claim this.

Taking questions from councillors on the costs incurred by the floods, Ms Hogg said: “In short, we don’t know the exact figure at this stage but what we do know is we have breached the Bellwin scheme threshold.

“We need to submit an application for that and then other costs that we know are coming through and we’re largely navigating our way through that and we have the South Yorkshire Community Foundation which also provide support.

“We are making representation to central government for extra funding and those discussions are taking place.

“There is potential to make an application to the EU Solidarity Fund which the government would need to undertake.

“Government confirmed they knew about it and they would be the ones who would be applying for it. They’re asking for weekly returns of information.

“We’re still working with communities to understand the extent of recovery work that needs to be undertaken.”