Pickles: 'Might have been a problem' over floods response

The Communities and Local Government Secretary has appeared to suggest the Government and authorities may have been slow to react to the problem of the flooding. Ministers have announced an extra £30m for emergency repairs - £130m in total.

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PM: No restrictions on help for flood victims

David Cameron has said there should be no restrictions on help to those affected by the latest storms and floods to hit the country.

Earlier, the Prime Minister announced that an extra £100 million will be made available to fund essential flood repairs and maintenance over the next year.

PM suggests Environment Agency wrong over dredging

The Prime Minister has suggested that the Environment Agency was wrong to claim dredging rivers would not help prevent the worst effects of serious flooding.

Responding to a question by Tory MP Graham Stuart in the House of Commons, David Cameron said: "From the late 1990s - far too long - the Environment Agency believed that it was wrong to dredge.

"Those of us with rural constituencies that have been affected by flooding have seen the effectiveness of some dredging that has taken place.

"Now if it is good for some places, we need to make the argument that it would be good for many more places."

He also said it was wrong of Lord Smith, the chairman of the Environment Agency, to suggest that Britain may have to choose whether it wants to save "town or country" from future flooding.

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Local councils to be reimbursed in full for flood costs

The Prime Minister has said that the Government will pay the full costs of local councils who make claims under the Bellwin Scheme.

The scheme, which provides compensation to areas facing exceptional costs from flooding, has only been obliged to pay 85% of the expenses after changes last month.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the scheme had also been restructured to help small local authorities, like Cornwall, counter the "enormous" threshold before claims could be made.

Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn told BBC Radio 4's World At One that the "help has been slow in coming".

PM: £10m earmarked for work on Somerset Levels

The Prime Minister has pledged £100 million in extra funding to help deal with the flooding across the South, including £10 million earmarked for the Somerset Levels.

Some £75 million will fund repairs and £15 million will go on maintenance, David Cameron said.

Whatever is required, whether it is dredging work on the rivers Tone and Parrett, whether it is support for our emergency services, whether it is fresh money for flood defences, whether it is action across the board, this Government will help those families and get this issue sorted.

– david cameron at Prime Minister's questions
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