Fund launched for Ottery flood victims

OTTERY flood victims will be helped by a series of initiatives announced by East Devon District Council today.

OTTERY flood victims will be helped by a series of initiatives announced by East Devon District Council today.

* A fund has been launched to help those in need of financial assistance

* Other existing sources of funding and advice are being investigated

* Skips are being placed in two locations at Ottery to take flood-damaged household goods

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* The Land of Canaan car park is being cleared so the carnival fairground can operate there

* EDDC teams are working with Devon County Council staff to clear debris from roads

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* Students from Exeter University have volunteered to help with this work

In the immediate aftermath of the heavy rain and hail, which brought flood chaos to roads and muddy misery to homeowners, EDDC's housing team was on hand from the early hours of Thursday morning to help set up a rest centre at The King's School.

Since then, more and more EDDC teams have been coming on stream, dealing with various aspects of the disaster.

Finance Director Diccon Pearse returned from taking part in the Silver Control operation in Exeter to set up a special bank account where people can pay in cash to help needy householders.


EDDC has opened a Flood Relief Fund. At this stage, cheques and postal orders may be sent to EDDC's offices at Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL.

Cheques and postal orders must be made out to the "Ottery St Mary Flood Relief Fund."

News of how to make payments in other ways will be announced next week. The proposed objectives of the Fund are:

'To provide financial help to residents of Ottery St Mary and surrounding areas of East Devon whose homes have been flooded by the 29/30 October floods and who have suffered hardship as a result'.

Details of how the fund will be managed, who will be eligible to apply for Financial Assistance from the fund, and how they can do so will also be available next week.

Advice on other sources of funding will come from EDDC's engagement and funding officer, Jamie Buckley.

She said: "Following an incident like this, people often need some extra help to pay for dealing with damage to homes and belongings.

"The relief fund announced today by EDDC should help in the medium to long term. Below are a few examples; I'm looking at more ideas and we will be letting people know about these just as soon as I have any details."

Crisis loans

Government Crisis Loans may be able to help. They can give up to £1,500 interest free loans for people in severe need e.g. no food to feed the family or the roof of the home has caved in. These can be applied for through your local Jobcentre. For more information:

Ottery Feoffee Charity may be able to help residents of Ottery St Mary by providing small grants. You can apply by sending a letter explaining your current circumstances including why you need funds and giving your contact details to Ottery Feoffee Charity, 7 Broad Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon EX11 1BS

The Lord Clinton Charitable Trust may be able to offer grants to assist you. You should apply by sending a letter explaining your current circumstances including why you need funds and giving your contact details to Lord Clinton Charitable Trust, Devon Clinton Estates, Rolle Estate Office, Bicton Arena, East Budleigh EX9 7BL. All applications will be assessed on an individual basis.

EDDC had earlier reassured householders living on benefit whose carpets or appliances have been wrecked by the floods that do not need to worry about the cost of removal by waste collection crews. If this is not covered by the householders' insurance policy, the Council will waive any charge for collection.


Building on that commitment, EDDC announced on Friday that skips had been provided free of charge by the Council's recycling and waste contractor, SITA. The skips will be sited in the Hind Street car park and in Thorne Farm Way near the hospital. Skips may be placed in other locations as the need arises. EDDC hopes that other residents will not take advantage and fly-tip in these specially provided skips.

With a decision already taken by Ottery Carnival organisers to go ahead with this year's parade on Saturday, EDDC wanted to minimise the effect of the storms on the profitability of the event. Since the fair cannot use the St Saviour's Field due to its waterlogged state, the Council is handing over the Land of Canaan Car Park for use by the fair.

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Leader of EDDC and an Ottery Ward Member, said: "We are well aware of the devastation this has caused to the lives of some individuals and to the community as a whole. Ottregians are a robust bunch and we want to help them bounce back as quickly as possible from this disaster.

"The car park will be available for use free of charge so that the fair can go ahead through Carnival Week unaffected by the waterlogged state of its normal home."

Although the emergency Silver Control at Exeter was stood down on Thursday afternoon, EDDC and the other agencies involved in the operation are continuing to collaborate on clearance work.

Devon County Council staff are clearing major obstructions from roads and streets across the district. EDDC teams are following on behind to clear up the mud and smaller debris.

They are being helped in this operation by eight students from Exeter University who contacted EDDC on Friday to offer their services.

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