Concerns grant may not cover repairs to roads following Storm Babet

The UK Government scheme was set up to help councils in the event of disasters such as storms.

Concerns UK Government grant may not cover repairs to roads in Angus following Storm Babet STV News

Councillors fear that the government emergency fund to tackle the devastation caused by Storm Babet might not cover repairs to Angus roads damaged by extra traffic due to diversions in the aftermath of the storm.

The council is set to make a multi-million-pound claim on the Bellwin scheme for damage caused by the devastating storm in October.

The UK Government grant was set up to help councils in the event of disasters such as the storm – which forced hundreds to flee their homes due to flooding.

Dozens of people remain homeless.

Concerns over what will be covered by the grant

However, there is uncertainty around whether deteriorating roads – which have carried much more traffic than usual due to diversions  – will be covered by the grant.

The A92 north was one of the worst affected routes following the storm, and Brechin Bridge – the key crossing over the River South Esk – is set to be closed for some time.

Scottish Conservative councillor Derek Wann raised concerns over affected roads during a full council meeting on Thursday.

Mr Wann said: “Will this include all the roads that are having to be used because we can’t get easy access to the A92?

“These are consequences of the storm but were not affected specifically by the storm.

“These are roads that are now seeing HGVs, buses, mountains of traffic.

“There’s potholes on them the size of craters on the moon.

“This has all got to be taken as a whole I would suggest.”

Strict rules of use around grant 

However, director of finance Ian Lorimer stressed that the rules surrounding the UK grant are very strict on its intended use.

There are more than 100 items on the £4m Bellwin claim so far.

He said: “Something that was not directly associated with the storm would not be eligible.

“It’s about reinstating what was damaged by the storm, so the rules on that are very tight.

“I would speculate that unless the roads you are talking about were damaged by the storm itself they would not be eligible in terms of the Bellwin claim.

“There are existing budgets and the spend on road repairs will be prioritised according to where the greatest need is.

“But we’ve seen over the last few days with heavy rain the damage that does to roads.

“It is very difficult to keep on top of that.”

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