Friday, 14 February 2014

Cornwall Council to provide free sandbags

Cornwall Council will issue free sandbags to households who are affected or at risk of flooding from this morning. The process of filling and distributing the bags will take some time, but the council will be using all of its resources and those of partner agencies to make sure that sandbags and flood prevention advice is available to any household at risk as soon as possible.

Together with my Lib Dem colleague Geoff Brown, the cabinet member for homes and communities, and colleagues from the Environment Agency and Cormac, I met with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday evening to discuss the flooding in Cornwall and how the rebuilding and repair work would happen. Nick also passed his thanks on to all the frontline teams at the EA, council and Cormac who have done so much to cope with the floods and the effects on local communities.

We also discussed the continued flood threat. Nick was able to assure us that the government would reimburse the council for money spent on sandbags. We are grateful for that assurance after some considerable uncertainty.

The previous policy of the council, agreed by the Conservative administration, was that the council would not provide sandbags, free or otherwise. It advised residents to purchase them for domestic use. Until now, this policy has been adhered to and, contrary to reports, the council has not sold sandbags to any residents. It is good that we can now reverse the no sandbags policy and start to help householders to do more to protect their property.

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