Sharma praises local flood heroes in Parliament

Following his involvement in helping to co-ordinate the local response to flooding, Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, yesterday expressed his gratitude to the flood heroes that have been helping the local flood alleviation effort, during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Speaking in Parliament Alok Sharma said: “I want to put on record my thanks to the council officers from West Berkshire council and Reading borough council, the volunteer flood wardens in places such as Purley and the soldiers of the 7th Battalion the Rifles for the work they are doing to help my constituents.”

During Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron announced a comprehensive package of new measures, which will be introduced to help people put their lives back together after the flooding. Measures include:

  • £5,000 repair and renew grant for all affected homeowners and businesses
  • 100% business rate relief for 3 months for all businesses affected by the flooding
  • £10 million fund for farmers suffering water-logged fields to help restore it to farmable land as quickly as possible
  • A  total commitment in excess of £750 million from the major banks to provide financial support to business and individual customers affected by the floods.

In his question to the Prime Minister, Alok said: “I welcome the schemes the Prime Minister has talked about to help individuals and businesses. Will he ensure that the details of those schemes are made available to everyone affected, so that they can make use of them?”

In response, the Prime Minister said: “My honourable Friend makes an important point. I know that he is working very hard to bring people together in his own constituency to make sure that everything that can be done in Reading is done. Obviously, they will be concerned about the rise in the Thames. We will publish details of all the announcements I have made, and we will add into that the fact that the major banks are coming forward with more than £750 million of financial support, which will mean repayment holidays, reduced or waived fees, loan extensions, increased flexibility of terms and specialist support teams deployed on the ground for businesses and farmers who desperately need help. It is a time for our insurance companies and our banks to demonstrate real social responsibility. I believe that they are beginning to do that and we should encourage them to do so.”

Speaking after the Parliamentary session Alok said: “I was pleased to have an opportunity to put on record my personal thanks to all of those that have been helping out during the floods. They are heroes and community champions, who all deserve unstinting praise.”

More information on the Government schemes is available online:

Royal Mail is holding mail for people whose homes are inaccessible, for collection at their convenience with proof of ID. They are also providing a free Redirection service for victims of the flooding who have had to move out of the area temporarily and therefore wish to have their mail delivered to an alternative address. Anyone with an interest in this service should contact Royal Mail’s customer services team on 08457 740 740.