Mayor of Worcester under fire for voting against £50,000 floods fund

Flooding in Worcester last month

Flooding in Worcester last month

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

THE Mayor of Worcester has come under fire for voting against a £50,000 hardship fund to help people recover from the floods.

Councillor Pat Agar was the only one of Worcester’s councillors to refuse to back the cash pot during a vote last month.

As your Worcester News revealed three weeks ago, a new £50,000 kitty is being launched by the city council to help people get back on their feet.

It came into being after a motion was put forward by Worcester’s Conservatives.

During the debate the Labour leadership threatened to reject the motion, saying it was too early to allocate a specific sum of money, but in the end it was backed by all parties.

Worcester Conservatives accused her of “trying to grandstand” in refusing to accept it.

Cllr Chris Mitchell, from the opposition Tory group, said: “I was amazed she voted against it, I think because her party [Labour] argued against it she assumed they’d vote that way, too.

“She had a look of shock when the rest voted for it.

“Sometimes we waste ours and other people’s time trying to grandstand, debating points that don’t need to be debated.

“This was a £50,000 sum we are talking about, to be put aside to help people after the floods.”

Cllr Agar has rejected the criticism and says she voted against the motion because she thought £50,000 did not go far enough.

“I actually thought Worcester deserved better,” she said.

“I think we can do more. If you’ve been flooded, it really is a violation to get over.

“I saw the impact of it, I do feel for people not just physically but emotionally.”

The fund, which is a provisional pot of money and could be increased, will be used to offer handouts to those trying to rebuild their lives.

Because it was only voted through at the end of February, the criteria for deciding who is eligible is still being drawn up.

It follows a move by Malvern Hills District Council to offer affected households £250 grants, and a £130 million package from the Government.

Worcestershire County Council is forking out £1.5 million towards flood alleviation work.

Comments (1)

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12:13pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Hwicce says...

I'm not too sure there should be a hardship fund at all.

People who live by rivers should expect to be flooded and make suitable arrangements themselves, it's not as if it doesn't happen every few years.

IF (and it's a very big if) people are genuinely hit but floods "out of the blue" then there is an arguement for a fund, but if it's just the same old people getting flooded this year like they were in the previous years then I'm sorry it's about time they stood on their own feet.
I'm not too sure there should be a hardship fund at all. People who live by rivers should expect to be flooded and make suitable arrangements themselves, it's not as if it doesn't happen every few years. IF (and it's a very big if) people are genuinely hit but floods "out of the blue" then there is an arguement for a fund, but if it's just the same old people getting flooded this year like they were in the previous years then I'm sorry it's about time they stood on their own feet. Hwicce
  • Score: 12

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