Brown pledges £14m for flood victims

The prime minister has moved to stem criticism of government inaction
The prime minister has moved to stem criticism of government inaction

Prime minister Gordon Brown has unveiled a package of measures worth £14 million to help restore areas of the UK hit by recent floods.

The devastation is at its worst in the north of England and it was after visiting the badly-hit Doncaster village of Toll Bar that Mr Brown announced the plans.

The money will be divided between local authorities and people directly affected by the floods.

Councils in badly hit areas will receive £10 million to fund rebuilding work, while another £3 million has been set aside for repairs of roads and bridges.

A total of roughly £1 million will be available to people who have lost essential possessions or who remain vulnerably-housed.

"I am taking immediate action to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the floods by announcing a £14 million package of support to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible," Mr Brown said.

The release of extra funds to deal with the floods has been accompanied by a new system which allows local councils to claim back 100 per cent of their rebuilding outlay rather than the previous 85 per cent.

However the announcement has already been criticised as being "too little too late" by the Liberal Democrats.

Environment spokesperson Chris Huhne attacked the plans after his own trip to review the problem.

He said: "Gordon Brown's commitment of financial help for these distressed areas is a welcome, if belated, recognition of the sheer scale of the problem. But judging by my visit to Hull on Tuesday, the prime minister's measures may not be enough.

"We need a specific commitment from the government to support capital spending when complete reconstruction is more cost-effective than patching and mending.

"Households on benefits need particular and rapid help to replace furnishings contaminated by sewage in the flood water," he finished.


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