Flooding (England)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 9th July 2007.

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Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party 3:31 pm, 9th July 2007

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for mentioning an area that perhaps has not had a great deal of the public spotlight, although clearly the problems for people there will be just as dramatic. I understand that 160 residential properties in north Lincolnshire and 400 residential properties in the whole of north-east Lincolnshire have been affected, together with businesses, so it is a significant problem. In terms of the rescue funds that are available, £10 million will go direct to local authorities, and we hope to have that money in their hands very quickly. We want to ensure that that is then distributed to people with the minimum of red tape and bureaucracy and that it is allocated to the people who are in the greatest need. That is rightly a matter for local authorities; central Government cannot micromanage it, and nor should we. However, we want to ensure that we help local authorities to do it as quickly as they possibly can to try to help people who in some cases literally walked out of the door with what they stood up in. The crisis loans and community care grants should therefore be available so that we can get a reasonable package to people who have found themselves in such distress.