LETTER: I’m confident Boston will get the financial help it needs


Following my column (Standard, March 5), I subsequently met with the Environment Agency and organised and held a meeting between myself, Brandon Lewis MP, Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the leader and chief executive of Boston Borough Council.

My meeting with the Environment Agency was critical. I lobbied for additional protection for Boston, including our valuable agricultural land, as well as receiving an update on the progress of the Boston Barrier.

I also emphasised my support for the Barrier and any associated works, which will improve the defences and the lives of people in Boston. With plans still being finalised, it is very important that everyone in our community presents a united front on this issue to ensure that we get the best result for our town.

I was delighted to arrange a meeting between myself, the DCLG minister and the leader and chief executive of Boston Borough Council. This was a valuable opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring Boston got its fair share of relief funding. We discussed several funding schemes which will be available to flooding victims and businesses, provided by central Government.

These include £4 million to councils to help provide a council tax rebate for people who left their homes due to the floods.

Also ‘Repair and Renewal’ grants of up to £5,000 to homeowners and businesses, to improve their properties ability to withstand future flooding.

A Businesses Support Scheme worth up to £10 million which will provide hardship funding for small businesses in affected areas. This is available for both businesses that were actually flooded and businesses affected through loss of trade.

Flooded businesses will qualify for 100% business rate relief for three months, regardless of how long they are flooded.

We also had valuable agricultural land flooded, some of which remains underwater. To help farmers with financial pressures central government has introduced a £10 million Farming Recovery Fund.

Constituents who would like more information about any of these schemes should contact my office for additional information.

There is still work to be done but I am now confident that Boston is going to receive the financial support needed to recover from the floods and mitigate any further impact.

Mark Simmonds

MP for Boston and Skegness