Bassetlaw council slammed over flooding appeal fund

Bassetlaw District Council has been blasted over a decision to merge flooding appeal money for the region with a wider Nottinghamshire flood fund.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:45 am

In November the council launched its Bassetlaw Flood Relief Appeal to support people displaced from their homes - which has so far raised £17,000.

Worksop was flooded on November 7 when the River Ryton burst its banks following heavy rain.

Twenty-five properties were evacuated while people in 65 others stayed in their homes despite risk to life.

Worksop town centre was wrecked during the floods

A number of town centre streets were inundated - including Central Avenue, Newcastle Avenue, Hardy Street, King Street and Allen Street.

This week the council announced that money raised through its appeal would be merged with a Nottinghamshire-wide appeal.

By doing this the council would make the Bassetlaw appeal fund eligible for government match-funding - doubling it to £34,000.

However funds will be distributed by the Lincolnshire Community Foundation - who the council say ‘have experience in running flood appeals and disbursing funds’.

Roger Stocks says the council has been 'apathetic' over allocating appeal funding

Roger Stocks, founder of Facebook group Worksop Independence, says 80 per cent of the 318 properties affected in Nottinghamshire were in Worksop and fears not enough money will be distributed to families affected in the town.

He said: “The feeling is that this money was raised by local people for local people.

“There’s been an apathy on the part of the council about how the money should be allocated.

“Worksop people are now feeling isolated and marginalised.

“That money was needed at Christmas - when many people were sat with no heating or Christmas presents.”

Social care manager Roger, 62, also criticised the council decision to make Lincolnshire Community Foundation responsible for distributing the appeal money.

He added: “People in Worksop are the people who have been flooded - I would like to know what experience the Lincolnshire group have in allocating flood funding.”

A spokesman for Bassetlaw District Council said: "Working with our partners (Bassetlaw Community Voluntary Service) BCVS and the Lincolnshire Community Fund the funding available can be doubled with government support and affected Bassetlaw residents will have access to substantially more money.

“Allocating funds from the Bassetlaw appeal alone would mean residents could receive substantially less financial support.

“While it may seem strange that the Lincolnshire Community Foundation is administering a Nottinghamshire appeal they have experience in disbursing funds - especially in situations like flooding.

“Since their inception in 2002 they have awarded over £11million to more than 4,000 organisations.”

People affected in Bassetlaw can now apply to the Nottinghamshire Flood Appeal for a hardship grant of up to £500.

Initial applications can be made up until February 4 - with application forms and guidance available online at HERE and HERE.

Paper copies are available from the council offices in Worksop and Retford as well as the temporary Worksop Library in the Priory Centre.

If you would like to know more about this appeal or need assistance to complete an application please contact Sue Fortune on 01529 305825 or 07908208838.