Flood victims set for tax reprieve

Families unable to move back into their homes after the floods will not have to pay any council tax until they do, the Government said.

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Flood victims in Dorset warned to make sure they employ reputable traders for repair work

During the winter storms 368 properties were flooded across the county and residents will need to repair the damage the weather caused.

Money is available through a number of Government flood support schemes, and choosing a trustworthy company will make sure that the work is done to a good standard.

Dorset County Council’s trading standards team check and approve businesses through the Buy with Confidence scheme. The councils’ trading standards officers suggest that residents should obtain more than one quote, and preferably three, to make sure that a fair price is agreed upon.

Cllr Peter Finney, the county council's Cabinet member for community services, said,

We hope that most tradesmen will be honest and not exploit the situation, but there is always a risk that some might see this as an opportunity.

These traders can be very persuasive. My advice is always check references or use a company that has a good reputation.”

– Dorset County Council

Repair and Renew flood scheme launched in Oxfordshire

The Grant scheme offers up to £5,000 for householders and businesses to install property protection measures that will reduce or minimise the risk of future flooding. It does not provide funding for general repairs and insurance excesses

Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment said,

We welcome the support from government and we will be doing all we can to alert those affected about this grant scheme and encouraging them to apply.”

– West Oxfordshire District Council

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Families hit by flooding given council tax break

Hundreds of families in the South still unable to move back into their homes after the winter's floods won't have to pay any council tax until they do.

flooding
Homes across the south were devastated by flooding this winter Credit: ITV Meridian

According to the Government, 123 families in Hampshire have been unable to return home. More than 70 in Surrey and 60 across the Thames Valley. Anyone who has not yet been offered a discount should contact their local council.

flooding
Homes across the south were devastated by flooding this winter Credit: ITV Meridian

Flood fairs for those at risk of flooding in West Kent

Those who might be at risk of flooding in West Kent have been offered advice on how to protect their homes and businesses.

Tonbridge was one of the worst affected areas and today an event was held in East Peckkam, with the Environment Agency, Kent County Council and Southern Water attending.

Another flood fair will be take place in Hildenborough next weekend.

Repair work starts on Whitchurch Bridge

Work to repair Whitchurch Bridge which was delayed by flooding has restarted.

bridge
Work to repair Whitchurch Bridge was delayed due to flooding Credit: ITV Meridian

The reconstruction of the 112 year old bridge was due to finish in April but is now expected to be completed in September. Work will be carried out during some weekends and nights.

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Flood summit to protect Oxfordshire from flooding

by Cary Johnston

A summit has taken place in Oxfordshire to ensure the flooding that devastated parts of the Thames Valley will not happen again.

Those attending included politicians, council leaders, and government agencies. They have been looking at ways of bolstering defences against any future deluge. They also focused on discussions about the best way to prevent homes flooding and roads closing in the future.

Funding is at the heart of the issue, with plans for a multi-million pound relief channel in Oxfordshire in the pipeline. Cary Johnston reports.

The interviewees are:

Councillor Rodney Rose, Leader, Oxfordshire County Council (Conservative)

John Howell, MP for Henley, (Conservative)

Nicola Blackwood, MP for Oxford West & Abingdon (Conservative)

Tom Ballance from Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Oxford

Flood summit being held in Oxford

Oxford county council will hold a flood summit today to discuss how local organisatins and agencies can reduce the risk of flooding in the future. Large parts of the county were hit by floods earlier this year, closing roads and causing major disruption.

We have now had significant floods two years running and four times in the last decade, so we may have to face up to flooding as the 'new normal' in Oxfordshire. That is why I want to make sure that all the relevant organisations come together as soon as possible to learn lessons from these floods. We need to agree how we can work together to reduce the risk to homes, businesses and the transport links that are vital to our local economy."**

– Cllr Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire County Council

Royal visit to flood-hit Kent

by David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall, visited Kent today, to meet residents of the south-east's most flooded village. They were given a warm welcome by a small crowd of well-wishers.

David Johns was there and spoke to restaurateur Kajol Miah, Rev Paul Filmer from Yalding church, Yalding Parish Council chairman Geraldine Brown and local resident Joseph Wilson.

Wildlife reserve assesses impact of flooding on its birds

by Charlotte Wilkins

A wildlife reserve in Sussex has revealed the impact the recent flooding has had on the animals in its care.

Much of site belonging to the charity 'The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust' in Arundel was under water for two months. The flooding meant that birds could not roost, hibernating animals were flushed out, and their food sources were killed off.

The reserve has only just fully reopened - and visitors are slowly returning to the site. Managers say the money the charity has lost will impact on plans for conservation work. Charlotte Wilkins reports.

The interviewee is Paul Stevens, Grounds manager.

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