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Help for Worcester flooding victims in £50,000 council deal
TRIBUTES have been paid to Worcester's "heroes" in the aftermath of the horrific floods - as a £50,000 hardship fund was launched to help people get back to their feet.
Rival politicians at Worcester City Council have united to pay their respects to the hundreds of people and organisations who made a difference.
During the 2014/15 budget setting meeting at the Guildhall last night, leader Councillor Adrian Gregson said the city can be proud of the "exceptional" response to the worst floods to hit Worcester in seven years.
An attempt by the opposition Conservative Party to agree a £50,000 flood recovery fund was also agreed, offering vital help to those still suffering the consequences of the rising river levels.
The fund, which is a provisional pot of money and could be increased, will be used to offer cash handouts to those trying to rebuild their lives.
Although the exact methodology around how it will be spent and who will qualify for it are yet to be determined, it was nodded through after all parties agreed the city's recovery is still in its early stages.
The £50,000 fund was the idea of Councillor Lucy Hodgson, a Conservative and former Mayor of Worcester.
During the meeting Cllr Gregson name-checked city council staff, the Environment Agency, county council and even the likes of Tesco for offering people free cleaning packs and NPower for sending out volunteers.
He said he'd "like to thank everyone" for "keeping the city moving" when its luck was down.
"City council staff from a whole variety of council areas are also a lot of the unsung heroes here," he said.
"The staff are committed to their jobs and have wanted to do all they can to help."
Councillor Pat Agar, the Mayor of Worcester, said: "I'd like to say a profound thank you to the staff, the volunteers, everyone who did so well to help with the flooding."
Councillor Roger Knight, from the Conservatives, added: "The effort was absolutely first class and we owe them a debt of gratitude."
The criteria for the flood recovery fund fund will be developed in talks between group leaders from all the parties.
It follows a move by Malvern Hills District Council to offer affected households £250 grants, and a £130 million package from the Government to help people in need.
The details of the Government's help, which includes business rate and council tax relief, as well as potential household help worth up to £5,000, is still being worked through by local authorities.