Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

12 JAN 2015

Time extension secured for key flood grant

Steve Brine has secured further good news for local people affected by the flooding last winter as the government have now extended the deadline on those applying for financial help.

Following extensive lobbying from Mr Brine, the deadline extension, until the 30th June 2015 for those affected between 1st December 2013 - 31st March 2014, will help local authorities across England manage the allocation of the Repair and Renew Grant (RRG).

The RRG provides homeowners and businesses with up to £5000 of grant funding to establish resilience measures to their property in order to minimise the risk or impact of any future flooding, and following feedback and lobbying from the Winchester MP, who has been working closely with Winchester City Council on the issue, Ministers have listened to these concerns and agreed to offer flexibility with the RRG deadline.

Winchester City Council Chief Executive, Simon Eden, wrote to Mr Brine in November, explaining how the scheme was due to close at the end of the financial year. By that time, all schemes to receive grant approval would need to have been implemented and the money claimed back from the Council, and while for most individual claimants, this was unlikely to be a problem, for the larger scale collaborative schemes, such as in various roads in Littleton, the original deadline was likely to have been a problem, jeopardising access to Government funding.

Steve Brine said: "The initial response from Treasury was not good but the example from Littleton gave me the leverage to push back and I'm really pleased our efforts have shoe-horned some further flexibility into the RRG scheme. Without this change, plans such as the one already agreed in principle for Littleton, would not be able to go ahead because there is not enough time to do the work before the end of the financial year.

"Winchester City Council deserve great credit for once again leading the charge on this as does Treasury Minister, Pritti Patel, who responded brilliantly when I raised the Littleton example with her. The flooding last Winter was horrendous in parts of my constituency and this work will hopefully help with future bad weather events."

Councillor Victoria Weston, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Built Environment, added: "The City Council are delighted with the Minister's announcement, and grateful to Steve for his persistent lobbying on Winchester's behalf. This will make a difference to one or two important schemes which residents have been working on, with City Council support, to protect their homes."

Pictured; Steve Brine MP helps to lay sandbags in Littleton with local councillor James Byrnes at the height of the floods last winter

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