Stockport councillor urges flood victims to seek financial support after ‘government fails to help’ homeowners

A Stockport councillor has criticised the government’s response to floods in the borough last month and urged flood victims to take advantage of financial support from the council.

Substantial rainfall in Stockport between June 8 and 16 caused internal flooding in 88 properties across parts of Offerton, Bramhall, Cheadle Heath, Gatley, Cheadle, Hazel Grove, High Lane and Marple.

Since then, Stockport Council have applied to the Greater Manchester Disaster Relief Fund and will provide £200 of additional financial assistance per home with its own local funding,

The council’s money will combine with funds raised by Forever Manchester making a grant of £300 available for each household affected by flooding  along with a 100% Council Tax freeze for up to 4 months.

The council also plans to spend an additional £800,000 to ensure that infrastructure damaged as a result of the floods will be repaired as quickly as possible.

However, Councillor Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Housing, believes that central government must do more to help.

“We are very disappointed that the government has failed so far to provide any financial support for residents in Stockport who have been affected,” she told MM.

“We do not believe that people in Stockport are any less deserving than people in other parts of the country that did receive help from the government.

“We are still hoping to get some additional money from the government.”

Council leader Alex Ganotis has written a letter to Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Department for Communities and Local Government requesting extra financial support to help those affected and aid the recovery process.

Meanwhile, the public have rallied around a JustGiving appeal set up by Forever Manchester, a charity that seeks to fund and support community projects across Greater Manchester, raising over £64,000 of a £70,000 goal to help flood victims.

 “It is obviously important that people are helped in every way possible when disastrous situations like this occur and the generosity of people who provide these funds to Forever Manchester are helping people in many ways,” said Councillor Bailey.

The Greater Manchester Flood Recovery Appeal was set up in the wake of the flooding that hit many homes on Boxing Day 2015.

Since the appeal’s inception, Forever Manchester have raised and supplied over £120,000 in funds to support areas across Greater Manchester.

The new council executive have also commissioned an independent review of what action should be taken to reduce the risk a repeat of flooding in the future.

The review will take into account privately owned drainage systems and those controlled by the council, and will also consider the actions of the emergency services, whose response Councillor Bailey praised.

The councillor, who has served Stockport for 26 years, urged residents to take advantage of the fund available.

“Residents who have been affected need to be in contact with insurance companies so that assessments are made from the point of view of replacing items that have been lost,” she said.

“To make use and claim through the council’s website for the additional funding that is available.”

During the flooding, Hazel Grove – one of the worst hit areas – saw water rush onto the road near Torkington Park, while power cuts affected 15 properties in Offerton.

In Bramhall, firefighters were forced to rescue an old woman using a wheelie bin as a floatation device as she tried desperately to keep her head above water.

Residents and businesses whose properties were internally flooded can contact Stockport Council on 0161-217-6111 or via the council website.

Image courtesy of Alan Howarth, via YouTube, with thanks.

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