Scottish Government to fund flood damage repairs

Damage to a garden in Port William. Photo from Laura Rennie.
Damage to a garden in Port William. Photo from Laura Rennie.

The Scottish Government is to hand over an additional capital grant of £500,000 to Dumfries and Galloway Council specifically to repair damage to sea defences, riverbanks and coastal paths caused by the severe flooding earlier this year.

Storm surges damaged various locations including Port William, Drummore and Kirkcudbright, while there was severe inland flooding at Carsphairn and the Cree threatened to burst its banks at Newton Stewart.

SNP MSP Dr Aileen McLeod welcomes the news and said: “This is excellent news and will certainly help Dumfries and Galloway Council with the significant costs it has had to bear in repairing infrastructure damaged by the flooding and very high tides earlier in the year.

“There is no question that Dumfries and Galloway was one of the most severely affected parts of Scotland, so this support from the Scottish Government is a welcome response to the difficulties the region has faced.

“The region was affected both by inland flooding, with Carsphairn in particular very badly affected, and also by tidal storm surges, which caused coastal damage at Port William, Drummore and Kirkcudbright among other places.

“When the flooding happened the Scottish Government said that it would see what could be done to help the region and the Council, particularly since this was the second expensive and damaging period of bad weather in two years. This announcement keeps that promise and I warmly welcome it.”

However, Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown expressed his concern that the £500,000 allocated to the council doesn’t go far enough. He said: “I am pleased that the persistent campaigning from the new council administration has forced this u-turn by the Scottish Government and we are at long last seeing some funding coming to our region. Dumfries and Galloway was devastated by floods this winter with extensive damage to a number of sea walls, roads, paths and river banks right across the region. It will cost the council £600,000 alone to replace one road near Drummore which was washed away, so this leaves the local taxpayer still with a hefty bill. The funding from the Scottish Government is also only for council clear up costs, but there is no specific support to repair the many coastal protection schemes that have been damaged that the council don’t own and there’s no support to local farmers who have seen their fields destroyed when flood banks have been breached. I am also disappointed there is still no sign of funding for the Whitesands Flood pretection scheme. The Scottish Government needs a more comprehensive approach to supporting those affected by flooding”.