March 12 2014 Latest news:
Friday, January 3, 2014
All victims of last month’s devastating tidal surge have been urged to come forward to claim support from the EDP’s flood appeal, as the first awards begin helping families and businesses rebuild their lives.
North Norfolk District Council last night announced the details of two drop-in sessions to help victims of the December tidal surge.
They will be held at The Lighthouse, Walcott, on Monday, January 6, and Wednesday, January 8, from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
They are mostly to deal with issues about the flood fund and will be manned by the housing team. But officers can also try to help with any other inquiries and, unable to help on the day, take away any concerns and pass them to the relevant department for them to get in touch with residents.
Generous readers have already donated more than £150,000 to the EDP Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal in the month since the flood swept through our coastal communities.
Now, appeal organisers are calling for everyone who suffered to make sure they get the support that people from across the region and beyond have put their way.
Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “We are really pleased now to see the money be awarded to those most needy individuals. It is always reassuring to the people who have donated that their money is being spent wisely and supporting the people it is for.
“As the new year starts, it is great to see people’s lives improving and hopefully getting back to some kind of normality.”
Three councils - North Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney - are already busy assessing individual applications for help from the fund, and tailoring their support to the specific needs of their communities.
Stephen Baker, chief executive of Waveney District Council, said about 120 homes and businesses were affected in Lowestoft, and £12,500 had already been given to those in need.
He said households mostly need fridges and freezers, electrical items and clothes, while businesses are receiving help for redecorating costs over and above what insurance will pay for, as well as clear-up costs.
While some national firms had the capacity to quickly rebuild, local businesses needed more help with lost stock, damaged carpets and advice on how to move on.
He said: “We don’t want people to feel embarrassed. The money is there to help them, and we are there to help them get it.”
Jane Beck, director of customer services at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said 17 homes and eight businesses in Hemsby and the town suffered damage ranging from minor to severe, while a number of other properties in Hemsby could need further help in the future.
She said appeal money was being used to help people with their insurance excess, and added: “The response to the appeal has been magnificent, probably far beyond what we expected, which is why it’s so important for us to help people, and for them to come forward.”
Sheila Oxtoby, chief executive of North Norfolk District Council, said her authority had promoted the fund through a leaflet drop and will hold drop in sessions in Walcott, and has already sent out eight application forms and received five back.
She added: “We are concerned that people who do need help are not coming forward. We would urge them to make contact with us.”
Mr Tuttle, of the Norfolk Community Foundation, urged people to keep giving to the appeal, if they can.
He added that anyone who wants more information about the appeal can call the foundation on 01603 623958. The three councils and foundation said that they are happy to help anyone to complete their application form.
Where you affected by the flood? How are you coping one month on? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk