Emergency aid pledged for areas hit by flooding

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Emergency funds are being opened up for coastal communities hit by flooding and severe weather.

The Scottish Government announced it would consider claims for emergency financial assistance under the Bellwin Scheme for Aberdeenshire Council to help deal with the costs.

Hundreds of people had to be evacuated after heavy rains saw flooding hit a number of areas, particularly Stonehaven.

Many spent Christmas Day at the homes of relatives or friends.

Ministers have already opened the scheme to claims after gales battered coastal towns in Aberdeenshire and Moray earlier this month.

Highland Council is also 
seeking Scottish government emergency funding.

Aberdeenshire Council has made representations to the Scottish Government to consider financial support by 
activating the Bellwin Scheme.

This is a discretionary scheme to give assistance to councils who faced an undue financial burden as a result of large-scale emergencies.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney said: “Communities across Scotland, but particularly in the north-east, have had to endure exceptional weather in recent days.

“After the storms that battered coastlines earlier in December has come flood damage, most severely in Stonehaven.

“My thoughts are with the households and businesses that have suffered flood damage, at the cruellest possible time so close to Christmas.

“Clean up work is ongoing, and I commend everyone 
involved for their hard work.

“This Government is committed to helping communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“I have agreed to activate the Bellwin scheme which provides support to Aberdeenshire Council to assist with immediate and unforeseen costs of dealing with the latest flood damage.