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Cornwall Council still in the dark over storm damage bill and faces £200m road repair bill

By RWhitehouse  |  Posted: May 02, 2014

Storms battered Cornwall at the beginning of the years causing £21.4m of damage

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CORNWALL Council is still waiting to hear whether it is going to be able to claim money to cover the £21.4million of damage caused by storms.

However it has warned that as well as needing to cover damage caused by the ferocious storms which battered the county between December and March it is also facing a backlog of £200m in road maintenance.

A report due to go before the council’s Cabinet on Wednesday details the efforts which have been made to claim money from the Government and Environment Agency to cover the cost of damage caused to roads, footpaths, sea defences and buildings by the storms.

The £21.4m bill does not cover any private buildings or areas which require repairs including Looe and Porthleven Harbours.

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In the report the council states that it is still unsure how much money it might be able to claim under the Belwin scheme which is open to local authorities to claim for repairs as a result of weather, but says that it could be as little as £823,000.

The council is also making an application for a national pot of £130m which is being administered by the Environment Agency but is still awaiting an official announcement.

It also reveals that a scheme run by the Department for Transport had allocated £10.7m to Cornwall Council for damage caused by flooding.

In the report it states that the total cost of highways repairs from the recent storms was around £5m and relate largely to repairs at Calstock and Coverack.

However the report states: “This funding should also be put in the context of Cornwall’s highway maintenance backlog, which before the recent storms was estimated at £200 million.

“Although this funding will enable the council to catch up on its highway planned maintenance, with further cuts in revenue funding the council will be unable to fund planned revenue maintenance at the levels required and will slip further behind on its backlog maintenance, as well as being unable to progress innovative schemes to enable stronger resilience in our highway network.”

The report outlines four options available to the council ranging from “do nothing” to “repair all damaged defences with improvements in key locations”.

It states that ideally it would like to complete the latter but is dependant on what Government funding is awarded to the council.

The report to Cabinet also includes a copy of a letter sent by council leader John Pollard to the Prime Minister last month appealing for his help in pushing forward Cornwall’s claim for funds to help with storm repairs.

In it he highlights David Cameron’s statement at the time of the storms that “money is no object” – however last week it was widely reported that Mr Cameron qualified that by stating that it only related to emergency repairs which were required whilst the storms were happening and not for repairs required afterwards.

Mr Pollard asks the Prime Minister to address the important issues facing Cornwall and try and ensure that funding is in place for repairs to be completed before the “crucial” summer holidays.

He concludes: “Basically I call on you to honour your promise to fund all the storm damage within Cornwall.”

The Cabinet meeting takes place at 10am on Wednesday (May 7) and will be available to watch live on this website.

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  • josdave  |  May 05 2014, 8:57AM

    Along with many others I remember Cameron saying "Money is no object". What happened to that? I note the Southeast is getting a lot of help. Am I getting cynical or is that because there are more Tory voters there?

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  • Doitdreckley  |  May 03 2014, 6:04PM

    A lot of people in Cornwall want devolution to a Cornish Assembly, not independence. The Business Age magazine research is quite old now and somewhat inaccurate. As for David Cameron he clearly needs the money for his own emergency: his pants are on fire.

    |   12
  • Luke_Angove  |  May 02 2014, 11:15PM

    This is why we need independence, do you know that Kernow subsidises England to the tune of £300 million every year?!?!? http://tinyurl.com/knohqg4

    |   -24
  • break  |  May 02 2014, 4:05PM

    About time Cornwall Council stopped bowing to its masters commands and started speaking up for itself, go give the Government a mouthful. Get this whole rural and urban thing sorted out too then we'd get a fairer cut of cash, can always claim discrimination now.

    |   -22
  • FALBOUY  |  May 02 2014, 11:25AM

    Cornwall county council will I am afraid will always be in the dark.

    |   10