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Boston gets top Government flood funding allocation to help businesses

The Government has issued more details to local councils about how they can now help householders and businesses recover from the flood which hit Boston on December 5.

But further Government guidance is still awaited and Boston Borough Council will contact householders and businesses when applications can be made.

Those living in flood-affected homes will be able to apply for a council tax discount - funded by £4 million to all councils from Government. The amount and duration yet to be agreed.

Flood-affected businesses could receive 100 per cent business rate relief for three months. The council will have to consider whether business activities have been adversely affected - very small or insignificant impacts should be ignored. There will also be funding for small and medium-sized businesses to develop and implement business recovery plans.

Flood-resilience grants of up to £5,000 for residential and business properties will be available, subject to a survey. Government has said the grants are intended to fund additional flood-resistance measures over and above the cost of repairs normally covered by insurance.

In addition Boston Borough Council will be able to recover its flooding costs through the Government's Bellwin Scheme, over and above its £17,000 threshold.

The council has also made a bid for funding under the Government's severe weather recovery scheme.

A £10 million fund has also been set up by Government for one-off grants to help bring flooded farmland back into production. The money can also be used to introduce lasting and sustainable flood prevention measures.

Councils now have to set up their own local schemes, with further advice from Government to deal with grant applications.

Cllr Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: "The magnitude of the flood which hit Boston on December 5 has been recognised by central Government with news of the cash award to Boston Borough Council to help businesses which have been affected. An allocation of £320,000 has been made for Boston - more than anywhere else.

"This is in addition to business rate and council tax relief announced by the Government, which the borough council will administrate. This does not include residential and community amounts yet to be announced .

"Council budgets are stretched so it is good news that Government will be supporting efforts to provide financial support to flood-hit homes and businesses.

"Lobbying Government, which we have been doing since immediately after the flood, including a conversation I had with local government minister Eric Pickles at 10 Downing Street has paid off for Boston."

Cllr Bedford said he, the chief executive and MP Mark Simmonds would continue to lobby for more money for Boston, for flood relief and in recognition of its growing population when they meet with Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, at the House of Commons on Thursday.