Chorley Council launch fight for flooding relief cash

A fight has been launched to get almost £1m flood cash from the Government - two years on from the Boxing Day storm of 2015 that hit the county.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 7:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 8:15 am
Croston was heavily affected by the floods on Boxing Day in 2015
Croston was heavily affected by the floods on Boxing Day in 2015

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Chorley Council claims the Government should let the authority have money made available to Croston’s flood victims that was not taken up by some residents at the time.

Chorley says it will put it to good use by helping to protect other flood blackspot areas in the borough.

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The council says the cash would offset the authority’s £1m contribution to the Croston food relief scheme, which local council taxpayers had to pay up to ensure the project went ahead.

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “Who can forget the promise of the then Prime Minister David Cameron, who stood on the flood plains of Somerset saying that ‘money is no object’ as they looked to protect residents from flooding in the winter of 2014?

“Only a short time later when it came to providing a vital scheme to protect the rural villages in and around Croston from flooding we were told by the Government that the scheme would not go ahead unless we could plug a £1m gap in funding, despite the fact we are not the responsible authority for flooding and this is a huge amount of money for us.”

Figures show 114 properties in the borough affected by the 2015 floods received a total of £463,955 in grants from the Government but there were 170 properties that did not make a claim, which could have amounted to £850,000.

John Twinn, of Town Road, Croston, was a flood victim who did apply for the Government grant.

He said: “Personally I think Chorley Council has got a point because it was funding the Government has made available. Whether Chorley legally can say it was ring fenced for us, I don’t know. Morally I would say, yes, without a doubt.”

He added: “We wouldn’t have had the flood barrier if Chorley Council hadn’t coughed up the extra money like that.

“In my personal opinion, it should never have got to that stage – it should have been the Government coughing up the money for that.”