New analysis shows scale of last winter's floods

Flooding in Carlisle during Storm Desmond Credit: ITV News Border

More than seven thousand homes and businesses across Cumbria flooded in last year's devastating storms, new analysis shows.

The study, by the Local Government Association, says that 6,568 homes and 897 businesses were affected in the county. That's almost half of all the properties hit in the eight worst-affected parts of the UK.

The Association says councils are still helping flood-hit homes to recover from the disruption caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank.

Ahead of this winter, town halls are encouraging people to be prepared for future flooding, by taking steps such as checking if they are at risk, signing up to free warnings and identifying what to take with them if they need to evacuate their premises.

Council leaders are calling for future flood defence to be devolved by the Government to local areas so that councils can work with communities and businesses to ensure money goes to projects that best suit local needs.

Martin Tett, a LGA environment spokesman, said: "Councils are doing everything they can to protect households and businesses from the possibility of further devastating flooding this winter.

"Such was the severity of last year's storms, some councils, who have experienced significant reductions to their core funding, are still helping residents to recover even now."

He said devolving funding to local areas would support projects that reflected needs such as protecting key roads and bridges to keep residents and businesses moving.