Cornwall faces a £21 million repair bill from storms
Cornwall has been subjected to an almost endless 10-week cycle of adverse weather. If it is not the massive rain downpours which our drains struggle to clear; the violent storms hitting our coastal settlements, and gale force (sometimes stronger) winds laying waste to trees, it is hardly surprising these weather patterns are having a financially impact too.
To date, the interim costs just to make affected areas safe is estimated to be £3.8m. However, and more worrying, the actual cost of repairing the damaged areas is estimated by officers at Cornwall Council to be £17.5m. This figure will no doubt rise if the weather continues to wreak havoc in Cornwall. Add the pressure of the Council currently facing huge financial pressures itself (reduction of £196m of funding over the next 4/5 years) these added costs will have impacts on budgets and will have to be found from somewhere.
The Government has announced help to affected areas with statements of £100m being set aside and dispatching Ministers to affected areas – I hope they bring wellies this time. However, if you take away the headlines, Cornwall and other affected areas really want to know how this ‘help’ will materialise into real financial support. If not, these repair costs will have to be found from existing budgets which if these costs have to be met by the Council, this will place a lot more pressure on services.
So come on Government, instead of bailing out the banks, why not help the people of the communities affected by the weather. It is only fair.