Hazel Blears issued a statement yesterday detailing the government's plan to tackle UK flood damage.
The Government estimates that 31,200 homes and 7,000 businesses have been affected in flood-hit areas. Many road and rail links remain closed, schools have been damaged and agriculture has been hit hard.She said: 'Communities want to get back to normal as swiftly as possible. Our priority now is to support them in doing so. My honourable Friend the Minister of State will continue to work closely with the local authorities will continue to work closely with the local authorities, the fire and rescue services, the insurance industry and other partners, who have already done so much, to ensure that everything possible is being done.'We are providing vulnerable people access to crisis loans and community care grants, so that they can afford basic essentials such as fresh clothes and bedding. We are giving people advice so that they can help to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy. We are meeting the Association of British Insurers tomorrow to ensure that hard-hit households and businesses get the support that they urgently need,' she said.The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government called for support from across central, regional and local government, businesses and voluntary organisation following the 'unprecedented' rains. She also acknowledged the resourcefulness of local authorities and the voluntary sector.Blears announced that John Healey, Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government, will co-ordinate Government support.