10 Downing Street
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First meeting of new Cabinet Committee on Flooding
Prime Minister David Cameron has chaired the first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Flooding.
The new Committee was set up by the Prime Minister earlier this week to coordinate strategic long-term plans on flood recovery and flood resilience, following the severe weather.
It does not replace the government’s emergency response committee, COBR, which will continue to coordinate the immediate, practical and operational response to help flood-hit communities for as long as necessary.
Following the package of measures to support homeowners and businesses announced this week, the Committee agreed a series of reviews to inform the long-term flood recovery plan:
- A review of the Bellwin scheme which provides emergency financial assistance to local authorities during exceptional circumstances, to consider whether the arrangements for providing funding to compensate local authorities for the costs of emergency measures are fit for purpose
- A targeted review of the resilience of the transport network to extreme weather events
- A review of investment decision guidelines on flood defences
- An annual resilience review to consider the local, regional and national response to extreme weather situations and make recommendations for the government’s long and short-term resilience strategy.
The Prime Minister also confirmed that the commitment to reimburse local authorities for 100% of their emergency costs through the Bellwin Scheme, rather than the usual 85%, will be extended to police forces supporting the emergency relief work, and that government will make advance payments of up to 80% of costs immediately available to local authorities.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
While we are in the grip of this severe weather it remains the immediate priority of government, through COBR, to continue to do all that we can to help local communities who are affected and coordinate the emergency response. We are taking action across the board.
I have already announced a series of longer-term measures to help hard-working people including new grants for homeowners and businesses to help them recover; business rate relief and a commitment from all major banks to provide financial support. This is on top of an extra £130 million to shore up and repair flood defences which have been battered by the storms.
We are doing everything we can to help people and businesses deal with the flooding and get back on their feet. And through this new Cabinet Committee we are doing all we can to ensure resilience in the future.
The Committee will meet every month until further notice.
Flooding Cabinet Committee – List of members
- Rt Hon David Cameron MP
- Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP
- Rt Hon George Osborne MP
- Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP
- Rt Hon Theresa May MP
- Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP
- Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP
- Rt Hon Edward Davey MP
- Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
- Rt Hon Vince Cable MP
- Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
- Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP
- Rt Hon Francis Maude MP
- Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP
Notes to editors
Minister for Government Policy, Oliver Letwin and Head of the 10 Downing Street Policy Unit, Jo Johnson will hold a round-table with the major insurance companies at Downing Street to make sure homeowners and businesses get the support they need, when they need it.
The government, led by Oliver Letwin and supported by the Cabinet Office, will instigate an annual review in to the resilience of our nation. The review will consider the local, regional and national response to the extreme weather, identify blockages to effective and decisive action and make recommendations for the government’s long and short-term resilience strategy.
To inform the annual resilience review, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will take forward a targeted review of the resilience of the transport network to extreme weather events. This will look at the plans for all transport providers and will build on the work of the Quarmby Review in response to cold weather. The review will report by the summer.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will also undertake a rapid review of the Bellwin scheme which provides emergency financial assistance to local authorities during exceptional circumstances. The review will consider whether the arrangements for providing funding to compensate local authorities for the costs of emergency measures are fit for purpose. This work will report by the end of April.
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