News

DFM visits flood-hit communities

Published: 03 Nov 2021 13:35

Government continues to work closely with local authorities on flood protection.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney visited Annan this morning (Wednesday, 3 November), where two historic footbridges – the Diamond Jubilee Bridge and the Cuthbertson Memorial Bridge - were swept away in recent severe weather and flooding.

While there, he met local people and members of Dumfries and Galloway council to hear about how they had been directly impacted.

In response to the flooding, the Scottish Government has triggered the Bellwin scheme of discretionary funding, which gives emergency financial assistance to local authorities.

Mr Swinney said:

“We have seen recently how local infrastructure, including bridges, can be closed or damaged by severe weather or disrepair. This is no more evident than here in Annan, where not one but two bridges were lost to the recent flooding – and I have heard first hand today just how deeply this can inconvenience residents and disrupt local economies.

“Reducing flood risk is a priority for the Scottish Government, and we will continue to support local authorities to deliver actions that protect our communities. COP26 brings the increased frequency of extreme weather events around the world due to climate change into sharp focus, and impresses the importance of the summit reaching a positive outcome.

“My sympathy is with those who are most affected by these floods – I am sure they are as grateful as I am for the rapid response by emergency services, local resilience partnerships in both Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, and the public for their assistance in dealing with the impact.”

Background

Bellwin Scheme: guidance and application form.

The Bellwin Scheme is discretionary and exists to give emergency financial assistance to local authorities who would otherwise suffer an undue financial burden as a result of providing relief and carrying out immediate work due to large-scale emergencies. There is no automatic entitlement to assistance, and local authorities are expected to reserve a small amount of their annual budget for dealing with unforeseen emergencies.