Call for Scottish Government flood action

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Scottish Government Ministers has been urged to “stop dragging their feet” on flooding and outline how they will spend £5 million of relief money the UK Government provided almost a fortnight ago.

At First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said people and businesses in areas like the Borders are still waiting for government action.

On December 29, the UK Government announced an additional £50 million of funding, which provided ministers in Scotland with £5 million thanks to the Barnett Formula. This was in addition to the £4 million in extra funding announced on the December 16.

But this week the First Minister was still unable to say how this would be spent.

Following the exchange, local Conservative MSP John Lamont has said that some residents, businesses and farmers in the Scottish Borders are still waiting for cash support and that this extra funding should be handed out immediately.

Mr Lamont said: “It took the Scottish Government a week to confirm it would spend the first batch of extra money for flooding. Now they have dragged their feet for almost two weeks on a further £5 million which has been made available.

“The First Minister doesn’t seem to have a plan on how this extra money should be used to help.

“Businesses, residents and farmers in the Borders want to know how they are going to be supported as the clean-up goes on.

“I am also bemused by claims that Scottish Borders Council already has enough money for Hawick’s flood defences. Scottish Government needs to make this extra money available immediately.”