Cheaper flooding helpline introduced after 0845 criticism

The Environment Agency has introduced a cheaper nationwide telephone helplines for flooding victims after criticism over a premium rate number that cost up to 41p a minute, with the money going to a private firm.

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Premium rate flooding hotline to be scrapped

David Cameron wants the use of premium rate telephone helplines for flooding victims to be ended "as quickly as it possibly can be", Downing Street has said.

Householders calling the 0845 number, which was set up by the Environment Agency (EA), are having to pay up to 41p a minute, with the money going to a private firm.

Those living in the Somerset Levels are experiencing flooding. Credit: Press Association

Speaking to reporters at a Westminster media briefing, Mr Cameron's official spokesman said the premium-rate helpline number would not be scrapped immediately, and victims of flooding should continue to use it.

But he said: "The Prime Minister is very clear that the use of premium rate lines should be scrapped as quickly as it possibly can be."

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