Additional Scottish Government funding to aid recovery efforts
Hundreds of households and businesses affected by the impact of Storm Babet will benefit from additional funding from the Scottish Government to help with recovery.
Impacted local authorities will be allocated additional funding to enable them to provide flat rate grants of:
- £1,500 to people whose properties were most affected by flooding related to Storm Babet
- £3,000 grants to businesses where there is evidence that ability to trade was severely impacted by flooding related to Storm Babet
This exceptional additional funding was discussed and agreed during the first formal meeting of the Storm Babet Ministerial Taskforce held today. Grants will be administered by local authorities; further information on when and how to access will be made available in due course.
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero Màiri McAllan said:
“Storm Babet was a highly unusual weather event with severe impacts, and communities continue to suffer. Our thoughts are with all those dealing with the aftermath. We have been clear that Scotland’s response to and recovery from Storm Babet would be collaborative endeavour.
"That’s why we have been working with local authorities and those directly affected by the severe impact of Storm Babet to determine where the Scottish Government can provide additional support to local partners.
“Given the unprecedented scale of damage and impact caused by Storm Babet we have concluded that additional funding is required to support households and businesses.
“This is in addition to our long-standing annual funding of £42 million and the additional £150 million for flood risk management and £12 million for coastal change adaptation over the course of this parliament, and sits alongside the Bellwin Scheme, Scottish Welfare Fund, and additional funds to farming businesses and organisations. Our Taskforce will continue to oversee these matters and support local partners.
Leader of Angus Council, Cllr Beth Whiteside said: “We welcome these discussions with Ministers and have the reassurance that they are fully aware of the scale of impact across Angus. Recovery will be a lengthy process as we support people and communities to rebuild their lives and businesses from the unprecedented flooding and we will need ongoing support for years to come to rebuild our infrastructure and take action to protect Angus from such devastating flooding in the future.”
Work to assess and identify the damage caused by the exceptional level of rain caused by Storm Babet has been ongoing in partnership between local and national government.
Existing support which can be accessed as a result of adverse weather events includes:
- Council Tax relief for up to 12 months for homes which are uninhabitable and discretionary Hardship Relief for non-domestic rates for businesses where the applicant would sustain financial difficulty without it
- the Scottish Welfare Fund which exists to help people in Scotland on low incomes through crisis grants and community care grants, with £41 million invested into the scheme for 2023/24 and an average award of £715 for community care grants and £113 for crisis grants
The Bellwin Scheme has been activated; however, given the scale of damage endured Scottish Ministers have today agreed an extension period of eligible costs from two months from the date of the incident, to four months from the date of the incident, to further support local authorities with the cost of recovery.
The Scottish Government has already pledged support for the repair of damaged flood banks, in addition to providing an additional £50,000 to the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) to help bolster the charity’s Flooding Crisis Fund supporting those affected by recent adverse weather in the agricultural sector.
Grants made available for those affected by Storm Babet in England are £500 per household and £2,500 for businesses.
Seven local authorities (Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perth & Kinross, Fife, South Lanarkshire, Highland and Moray) have notified the Scottish Government of a potential claim under the Bellwin scheme. Local authorities have four months from the date of the incident to make an interim claim and until eight months following the incident to make a final claim under the scheme. Officials have contacted councils weekly since the scheme was activated and no council is yet in a position to confirm a claim.
The Scottish Welfare Fund is made up of two different grants which are available to people 16 or older on a low income or getting certain benefits, they do not need to be repaid.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Mairi Gougeon confirmed additional support for the agricultural sector following Storm Babet during her speech at the National Farmers Union Scotland's Autumn Conference in Dunfermline on 26 October 2023.
Next year, the Scottish Government will publish Scotland’s first National Flood Resilience Strategy, which will capture the issues that need to be addressed in the transition towards a sustainable level of flood resilience in our changing climate.
The Taskforce committed to meet again shortly as part of ongoing recovery efforts.
Members of the Taskforce include:
- Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance;
- Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero & Just Transition;
- Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice;
- Minister for Housing;
- Minister for Community Wealth & Public Finance;
- Minister for Local Government Empowerment & Planning;
- Chief Executive of Angus Council
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