Winter floods cost councils £250m, LGA finds

25 Mar 16

A survey by the Local Government Association has found that nearly £250m of damage was caused to key infrastructure like roads, bridges and drainage systems by this winter’s flooding.

The snapshot survey of local authorities found an estimated 16,500 homes and businesses were flooded over the winter. The worst hit areas were Cumbria, which sustained about £175m in damage, Calderdale (£33m), Northumberland (£24m) and Lancashire (£5m).

This repair bill comes on top of the £2.25m councils need to pay due to an increase in household goods sent to landfill following the floods, and the LGA warned the final bill may rise further as authorities are still assessing the full cost.

Councils said that government funding had played a key role in helping local authorities and their communities to recover from the winter’s flooding havoc. However Peter Box, chair of the LGA’s environment, economy, housing and transport board, warned that councils will need more financial help from the government as the full cost of the damage emerges.

"The devastation wreaked by this winter’s flooding has landed councils with a bill of nearly £250m – just for damage to key infrastructure like roads and bridges,” he said.

‘Government has gone a long way to helping hard-hit communities get back on their feet. But it is clear more financial support will be needed for councils. Other measures from government could also make a massive difference in helping councils. These include allowing them to keep landfill tax and devolving new flood defence funding to local areas.”

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