Storm Desmond: £50m fund pledged to help flood victims

Photo Neil Cross'Flooding at St Michaels on Wyre
Photo Neil Cross'Flooding at St Michaels on Wyre
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Families and businesses hit by floods are set to benefit from a £50m fund, George Osborne has announced.

The Chancellor said families would be able to claim up to £5,000 each to deal with the damage wrought by Storm Desmond.

Funds will be distributed by local councils in an effort to overcome “administrative problems” that delayed previous emergency payments, he told the Commons, as he stood in for David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Labour’s Angela Eagle said only 15 per cent of those affected by last winter’s floods had received promised financial assistance.

The announcement came with flood-hit communities facing the prospect of more heavy rain as the clean-up continues.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for rain and wind across northern England and Scotland, with gusts of up to 70 mph predicted.

The Environment Agency (EA) said one severe flood warning, indicating there is a risk to life, remained in place for the River Wyre at St Michaels.

An estimated 5,000 households and companies forced from their properties by flooding in Cumbria and Lancashire are to be given temporary relief from their council tax and business rates.