Cupar flooding: councillors push Scottish Government to help victims

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Two and a half weeks after Storm Gerrit flooded homes and businesses in Cupar, local representatives are still calling on the Scottish Government to provide financial assistance in Fife as it did for people in Angus last October.

Just three days after Christmas, Storm Gerrit caused the River Eden and Ladyburn to burst their banks. Flood victims are still out of their homes and picking up the pieces. The Scottish Government has already provided a precedent of supporting flood victims. In October, Holyrood put financial support in place for households and businesses impacted by Storm Babet in Angus.

The grants included £1,500 grants for households and £3,000 for businesses. However no such support has yet been put in place for victims of Storm Gerrit. Now, Cllr David Ross, council leader, has joined the ranks of those calling for government support.

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On Thursday, Fife’s Lib-Dem group leader, Jonny Tepp (Tay Bridgehead) raised the issue at the cabinet committee meeting. He urged Cllr Ross to write to the Scottish Government to request help.

Flooding hit a number of homes in Cupar, sparking calls for help from the Scottish Government (Pics: Danyel VanReenen)Flooding hit a number of homes in Cupar, sparking calls for help from the Scottish Government (Pics: Danyel VanReenen)
Flooding hit a number of homes in Cupar, sparking calls for help from the Scottish Government (Pics: Danyel VanReenen)

“We believe that victims of weather events in Fife are every bit as deserving as those elsewhere,” Cllr Tepp stated. Cllr Ross said he was happy to write to the government, but financial officers expressed some doubt about whether or not funding would be successfully approved.

“Provision was made in Angus partly due to the scale of the incident. I don’t think it would harm writing, but I wouldn’t say you’ll necessarily be successful,” officers warned.

Since the flood, Willie Rennie, MSP for North East Fife, has pressed the Scottish Government to provide financial support.

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“For those who were flooded out of their homes just days after Christmas, it was just as traumatic for them as it was for the people of Angus,” he said. “The minister shouldn’t insult my constituents by saying the situation in Angus was exceptional. For anyone with two feet of water flooding their home, it is an exceptional situation and they deserve support.”

He continued: “I hope that the government listens and provides funding. If the minister isn’t going to provide grants, he should come to Cupar to explain why not to residents who have been flooded out of their homes or whose businesses have been closed.”