Commons hears of ‘incredible’ Hawick flood volunteers and 999 workers

Hawick MP Calum Kerr.
Hawick MP Calum Kerr.
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Volunteers and emergency services did an “incredible job” in dealing with the recent Hawick floods, Borders MP Calum Kerr told the Commons today.

He said that the town had “reacted magnificently” to the crisis which saw the River Teviot break its banks and force the evacuation of 600 people.

The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP is the SNP’s Westminster spokesperson on the environment and was speaking in a debate on flooding and climate change.

He praised the volunteers and emergency services who did everything they could to deal with the Hawick flooding and who directed those who came along to help out – including Mr Kerr and his MSP colleague Paul Wheelhouse, who joined the rescue effort by putting down sandbags.

And he confirmed to his fellow MPs that the money was available from the Scottish Government to fund a full flood prevention initiative.

Mr Kerr said: “A preferred scheme has been chosen and we are now moving to detailed design.

“It is critical to get this right as a wrongly built scheme can fail or even make things worse.”

The MP said Scottish ministers had reacted quickly and had assured Borderers that money would be available under the Bellwin Scheme to pay for the Hawick clean-up and damage repair.

“This swift response has eased the worries of people in the town and shown the Scottish Government to be empathetic and fast acting.”

Mr Kerr added that where flood defences were in place across the region, they held – including in Selkirk, where they are currently only half-built.

“This highlights how well-designed schemes can make all the difference. It is critical to get this right as a wrongly built scheme can fail or even make things worse.”