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Council to help residents affected by winter floods

Victims who suffered 'exceptional hardship or misfortune' due to floods between December 1 and March 31 to receive reduced council tax bills

TMS
Lorraine Page of Moulsham Lane, Yateley, outside her conservatory which was flooded during the bad weather in February

Victims of last winter’s floods will receive a deduction on their council tax.

Hart District Council will award discounts or reimbursements to council taxpayers who have suffered ‘exceptional hardship or misfortune due to flooding’ between December 1 last year and March 31.

Residents in Eversley and Yateley pulled together in January to fight what was described as ‘phenomenal flooding’ and at least three month’s council tax will be reimbursed for householders who were affected.

Tony Higgins, head of finance for Hart, said: “On February 20, the government published, separately, the Department for Communities and Local Government flood support scheme document which provides guidance on the assistance that can be given to both business rate and council tax payers.

“The government will reimburse councils that use their discretionary powers to grant relief to flooded properties in line with their guidance document.”

Properties that will benefit from the business rates flooding relief will be occupied properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less, that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.

Applications for discounts will be determined by the leader of the council following a recommendation by Mr Higgins and payment type will depend on whether the recipient usually pays council tax by instalments or a lump sum.

Subject to cabinet’s approval of this report, details of the reliefs and reductions will be made available on the council’s website and it is not yet known how many people are set to benefit from the

Where it is possible to identify properties that are likely to qualify, ratepayers and taxpayers will be contacted and invited to apply.

Flood victim Lorraine Page has recalled her experience after her conservatory was swamped with water at her home in Moulsham Lane, Yateley.

She said: “I remember on the Friday morning we looked out of the window to see our garden had flooded.

“The next morning we came downstairs and it had flooded again. Within half an hour water came through the conservatory door.

“Luckily as it was a Saturday, my husband and I were there otherwise the water would have reached the lounge and hallway.

“We had to scoop up the water and put the heating up full blast to dry everything out. I walked down to the back garden and saw water running from the Urnfield site into our garden. The site is still boggy now.”

During the floods, residents clubbed together to pump water out of gardens, put sandbags out and shovelled away debris along Reading Road.

After hearing about the tax payment, Councillor David Simpson, county councillor for Hartley Wintney, Eversley and Yateley, said: “Any help is needed. It’s as simple as that.

“To get any help at such a distressing time has to be useful and it certainly has been a distressing time.

“I know people who were flooded.

“People get angry. Sometimes it is nothing to do with the council, but people want someone to blame.”

 

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