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Home help with floods; PACKAGE: pounds 300k aid for surface water problems.

Byline: Christina Savvas

HOMES in Birmingham are set to receive help from the Government to tackle flooding.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has unveiled a pounds 300,000 funding package to tackle surface water flooding in the city.

A total of pounds 800,000 has been granted to help an estimated 47,600 homes in the West Midlands. This funding is part of the pounds 9.7 million awarded to 77 local authorities across England where evidence shows the risk and potential impact of surface water flooding could be highest.

It will help to prevent river overflow and surface water which affected parts of Birmingham last year.

"Birmingham City Council is delighted with the confidence shown by DEFRA in granting the single largest allocation of pounds 300,000 for surface water management planning to Birmingham," a council spokesman said.

"The council has been heavily involved in working with DEFRA in developing approaches to flood risk management.

"The council's flood risk managers will receive detailed guidance on how the money can be spent amd timescales in the next few weeks.

"However, partnerships are already in place to prioritise expenditure. The funding will enable existing integrated models to be developed and new priorities to be addressed.

"While the majority of flooding problems experienced in Birmingham are in the south of the city, the latest techniques used by the city council, and its professional partners and consultants Atkins, will be used to prioritise the funding city wide."

Local authorities can bid for a share of pounds 5 million to help deal with known local flooding problems.

Mr Benn said: "Local authorities have a crucial role to play in tackling flooding and it's vital they have the information, resources and skills they need.

"That's why we've provided this money and we want to make sure it gets to where it's most needed and where it can make the biggest difference - especially as we know that climate change will cause increased severe rainfall in future and bring with it an increased risk of surface water flooding."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 21, 2009
Words:340
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