Flood Recovery Plan will restore Aberdeenshire to normality

Aberdeenshire Council has launched an action plan to support communities to recover from flooding and is committing resources to its delivery across all services and alongside partners.

After floods and persistent rainfall swept parts of Aberdeenshire at the end of 2015 and in the first weeks of 2016 widespread and large scale damage was caused across multiple areas, most notable in Marr, Garioch and Formartine. 

It is estimated that up to 600 homes were flooded and around 100 businesses during a period where a major incident was declared on two occasions with the emergency services working alongside the council to respond and set up rest centres. 

Significant damage was caused creating long term and high cost infrastructure and community impacts. The cost to the authority has been substantial and will run into millions of pounds, once all of the necessary repair work has been completed.

The authority has already been supporting people in towns and villages get back on their feet through funding, housing support including temporary accommodation, waste services as well as the assessment and repair of roads, bridges and properties.

Aberdeenshire Council Co Leaders, Provost, Chief Executive and Area Managers have visited flood hit areas including Inverurie, Port Elphinstone, Ellon, Ballater and Braemar to meet residents, businesses and volunteers.

The Flood Recovery Plan strengthens the work carried out to date and will shape council services this year with actions from engineering works to welfare, housing and business support.

Co Leader Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes said: “The aim of the plan is to work closely with local communities to restore Aberdeenshire to normality and having been out to the areas affected I know how big an impact it has had on many people and businesses.

“Together we can work effectively and do everything we can to mitigate the impact of flooding, recover from the incidents and prepare for future events.

“The council will work with partners such as Scottish Government and SEPA as well as across all services to support people. Also with funding support available I encourage those who haven’t applied for the Scottish Government Grant or contacted the council for help to do so.”

Co Leader Councillor Richard Thomson added: “A detailed picture is emerging as to how this emergency has affected residents, businesses, infrastructure and the environment across Aberdeenshire.

“From finance; infrastructure; economic development; health and social care; education and children’s services to housing - every team across the council is looking at how our communities can recover.

“Whether it is the provision of initial funding, or longer term work around supporting local businesses, the Flood Recovery Plan is ambitious, supportive and sustainable.”

Aberdeenshire has received £2million as part of a wider Scottish Government Flood Relief Fund to support communities affected by recent floods and payments are now being made (£1,500 for individuals and £3,000 for businesses).

Around 500 households and businesses have registered since the fund was announced and are being processed. Those who have already emailed will get a response and confirmation when the grant will be made.

More information and the application form is at: https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/flooding-grant-scheme/

Only those households and businesses which were directly affected by the flooding in December 2015 and early January 2016 are eligible to apply for the grant.

Aberdeenshire Council is administering the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. It is one of a range of initiatives to support individuals and communities during the recovery period.

Aberdeenshire Council has also formed a partnership with Foundation Scotland to provide a simple way for people to combine fundraising activities and draw on funding for specific areas.

People can make a donation at: https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/flood-recovery-appeal/donate-aberdeenshire or apply for funds at: https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/flood-recovery-appeal/apply-for-funding

Learn more about Aberdeenshire's response to flooding from the Co Leaders the resilience of our communities and how those affected can get help.: https://youtu.be/wCSPmmsIn20