Yorkshire family faces months away from flooded home as councillors criticise Government flood scheme

A Yorkshire family is facing months away from their home after a flood while the criteria for a Government relief scheme could leave them without help, councillors have heard.

The family from Wilfholme, near Driffield, hoped to get help from the Government’s Flood Recovery Framework following Storm Henk, but the East Riding did not have enough affected homes to qualify, councillors heard.

Beverley Rural’s Coun Jeremy Wilcock said although the Government had since confirmed East Riding homes could get council tax discounts, the family and others were left facing uncertainty.

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Coun John Holtby, a local drainage board member, said they were helping the council to prevent more houses from being flooded but said Government agencies needed to do more.

Storm Henk brought heavy rain and floods to Yorkshire at the start of 2024Storm Henk brought heavy rain and floods to Yorkshire at the start of 2024
Storm Henk brought heavy rain and floods to Yorkshire at the start of 2024

Councillors backed Liberal Democrat Coun Wilcock’s motion which called on the Government and MPs to take a more sympathetic attitude to those hit by flooding, regardless of official criteria.

It follows the Government’s announcement of the Recovery Framework compensation scheme for those affected by Storm Henk which struck parts of the UK in early January.

Households in eligible areas could apply for £500 to help with immediate costs and they and businesses could be exempted from council tax for three months if significantly affected. Eligible owners of flooded homes could also apply for up to £5,000 to better protect them against future storms.

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Homes have to have been flooded by Storm Henk between Tuesday, January 2 and Friday, January 12.

Communities Secretary Michael Gove said when it was launched that the Government was doing all it could to help families through extreme challenges to recover from flooding. He added the family had been left without help while discussions between the council and ministers had taken place over the scheme.

But Coun Wilcock said the family were not eligible because the East Riding did not reach the threshold of 50 homes affected to qualify for help.

The Liberal Democrat said: “The family’s had to live in temporary accommodation, they work from home and they’ve had to move business material, their belongings, children and dog. They were heartened by the Government’s announcement, but their approach to this has been unrealistic, unimaginative and thoughtless.

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“Imagine going through the trauma of flooding but then having to remember the name of the storm and precise dates. While this dithering discussion has been going on this family’s home has been uninhabitable and it may well remain so for several months, the Government should show these unfortunate people some compassion.”

Conservative Coun Holtby said the council was working locally to protect local households from the effects of flooding.

He said: “Any flooded house is bad for the people flooded but our drainage boards reduce the amount of houses flooded. I would encourage more councillors to get involved in the drainage boards.”

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