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Flood event: there's cash waiting for you

Scores of visitors to an event in Boston Market Place on Thursday heard how they could use no-strings cash from the Government to help make their flood-affected homes more flood resistant.

The Boston Borough Council-organised event, held on the six-month anniversary of the flood, raised awareness of £5,000 grants made available to owners of flood-affected properties, to reduce the risk of damaging flood water in the future.

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People queue for advice from Boston Borough Council and the Environment Agency about grant aid and to sign up for flood warnings

The cash can be used for work such as making doors watertight, replacing electrical wiring so it is raised above likely flood levels, flood covers for airbricks and one-way valves for sewage pipes.

Home owners can opt for the borough council to make all arrangements to claim the grant, survey the property and organise the work, all at no cost to themselves.

Visitors to exhibition units were also able to chat to representatives from the Environment Agency, who encouraged them to sign up for automatic flood warnings and make their own personal flood plans to help them deal with an emergency.

Those doing both received a free door flood defence kit and went into a draw to win a further £2,000 worth of flood prevention measures for their home.

The Royal Sun Alliance emergency response unit was in attendance to give people advice about insuring their properties and contents - many of those affected by the flood did not have insurance.

And Allups Ltd, of Huddersfield, B&Q, Boston, Gravitas International Ltd, of Altrincham, Cheshire, and UK Flood Barriers Ltd, of Droitwich, all demonstrated their own flood prevention products.

Sylvia Turner-Kascur, a support worker at the Nottingham Community Housing Association hostel in South Terrace, said the floodwaters poured into the hostel on December 5.

Lower floors had three feet of water in them leading to total loss of all equipment in the office area. Homeless residents had to be evacuated to other premises in Union Street, and then evacuated again when it was feared that area would also flood.

She signed both premises up for flood warnings and collected Floodlock door protection strips for both.

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Sylvia Turner-Kascur collects her free Floodlock door protection strips from Steve Jacobs, joint managing director of Allups Ltd

Other visitors said the advice and help they had been given on the day was useful. Some had not been aware of their eligibility for flood defence grants.

A total of 786 properties - residential and business were impacted by the December 5 flood, all of which are eligible for Government flood resilience funding. So far 113 have applied.

Council tax discounts worth £53,347.40 have so been awarded.

A total of 60 businesses qualify for business rate relief and 49 are, or have received it - a total discount of £100,529.45.

Assistance with filling out the Government's flood grant application form will be available from Boston's Citizen Advice Bureau at Boston Mayflower's offices at Chantry House, Lincoln Lane, from 9am to 4pm every Tuesday until August. Please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 01205 318645 to arrange an appointment.

You will need to take with you an application form which you should already have received from the flood team at Boston Borough Council when you registered your address with them as having been affected by the December 5 flood.

It is not too late to register your flooded property. Call Boston Borough Council on 01205 314315 or email flood.support@boston.gov.uk leaving your name, address and phone numbers as soon as you can.

Businesses can also claim from a Business Support Fund. This can provide hardship funding for businesses affected by the floods. This covers a range of things including non-recoverable insurance excesses for repair or replacement of buildings, equipment and stock; removal of debris; additional business accommodation or extra staff costs; structural surveys; security measures; additional marketing; exceptional costs; to improve access to/for suppliers and customers etc.

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Boston residents signing up to receive flood alerts with the Environment Agency

To apply contact the flood support scheme at Boston Borough Council on 01205 314315 or email flood.support@boston.gov.uk

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