Stranded Leeds families ‘still living in hotels a month on from floods’

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MANY Leeds families are still stranded from their homes a month after the Boxing Day floods, with some having to live in hotels.

The leader of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake, told the YEP a number of families in the Farnley and Otley areas were not expecting to be returning to their normal lives any time soon, as she urged everyone affected by the disaster to apply for a share of a £10m total pot of flood aid which is available to Leeds residents,

“We have got residents in the city who are still out of their properties, and will be out for months to come,” she said. “It varies in circumstances, but some are in living in hotels, some are with friends.”

She paid tribute to the resilience of flood-affected communities, but also pledged to keep lobbying central Government for further flood defence and recovery funding.

Leeds City Council has so far received £4.6million from the Government to help households and businesses. The money can be distributed in £500 cash payments for people who had water coming into their property and £2,500 towards new resilience and recovery measures.

The authority has so far paid out £64,000 in community support money, £40,000 in council tax discounts and £370,000 to businesses for recovery grants and business rate relief.

The Leeds City Region partnership has also made a £5m fund available to help businesses across the five West Yorkshire authorities,

Councillor Blake urged firms of all sizes to put a claim in and pledged that “we will continue to put pressure on” for further Government cash.

Latest figures suggest 1,700 homes in Leeds were affected in some way by the Boxing Day floods. Up to 600 business in Kirkstall, Stourton, Hunslet and the city centre suffered damage.

Businesses can call the Leeds City region Growth Service helpline on 0113 3481818 to apply for a grant.

MP Rachel Reeves.

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