Councils get cash to deal with flooding

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CASH will be handed to local authorities to help them to deal with risks from flooding.

Lincolnshire County Council and Rutland County Council will receive a share of £21m in grants.

The fund, which was announced by environment secretary Caroline Spelman last week, will cover councils’ costs of putting into place and carrying out new responsibilities under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

This act was passed following the floods in 2007 and means authorities have new powers for flood mapping, producing risk management plans and supporting community flood awareness groups.

Lincolnshire County Council will receive £236,600 in 2011/12 and £689,400 from 2012/13 onwards.

Area highways manager at the county council Mark Welsh said the 2007 floods review recognised “significant gaps” in local flood risk management and administration nationally.

He added: “The Floods and Water Management Act gave significant new duties to authorities to manage local flood risk of surface water flooding, which previously no-one had responsibility for.

“Lincolnshire is recognised as one of the country’s leading authorities in this field and we will continue to ensure we excel in this area.”

Rutland County Council will receive £112,400 in 2011/12 and £121,100 a year from 2012/13 onwards.

County council leader Roger Begy (Con) said the grant was “very good news” and added: “The council is currently in the process of looking carefully at any conditions that may be attached to this grant.”

Northamptonshire County Council will receive £149,000 in 2011/12 and £290,000 a year from 2012/13.

The councils will be free to spend the money as they see fit. This could include paying members of staff, coming up with new plans for dealing with surface water flooding or working with the public on how best to deal with flooding.

Funding for 2011/12 will total £21m nationally, rising to £36m for 2012/13 and subsequent years of the spending review period. Of this, £1.4m is being spent in the East Midlands.