Scott urges ministers not to dilly-dally on Bellwin Scheme review

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott has said that despite the Deputy First Minister's assurances today that he will look into how the Bellwin Scheme is administered, the review must take place quickly so councils are not left picking up the pieces after major flooding.

Mr Scott questioned the Deputy First Minister this afternoon on whether the Scottish Government would consider a review of the scheme, which is supposed to give financial support to local authorities facing considerable costs following large-scale emergencies.

Despite previous Scottish Government announcements activating the scheme in the wake of major incidents like flooding, funding has often been denied because of overly strict criteria.

Speaking after his questioning Mr Scott said: "The Deputy First Minister has finally agreed today to look at the Bellwin Scheme and how it is administered which is excellent news given it has not been reviewed in almost ten years.

"The Scottish Government has promoted the scheme as the very pinnacle of support for councils after major emergencies, but we're seeing all too often that communities such as those in Comrie and Alyth are denied funding because of the extremely narrow criteria that have to be met, even when extensive damage is caused by flooding.

"But despite his announcement, the Scottish Government should not keep dilly-dallying. This review needs to be carried out urgently so councils are not left picking up the pieces and before the weather has any more chances to cause this kind of chaos again."

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