BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council is set to apply for up to £500,000 from the Government to cover the cost of the flood relief efforts in the borough.

The borough council has notified the Cabinet Office Briefing Room A (COBRA) – a crisis response committee – of its plans to apply for the funding under the Bellwin scheme, before the deadline at the end of June.

The Bellwin scheme allows local authorities to claim back all of the money they have spent on clean-up efforts after storms battered the country last month.

On February 6, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, announced that local authorities will be able to claim 100 per cent of the money that has been spent on the flood relief efforts.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has spent almost £400,000 on flooding issues across the borough, including removing 56 million litres of floodwater from Buck-skin, where 85 homes have been evacuated, since the area was flooded on February 8.

The council is now planning to launch an interim claim for £500,000 in April – £100,000 more than has so far been spent, because it is expected the bill will rise as efforts continue to remove floodwater.

Basingstoke MP Maria Miller has told The Gazette that she has raised the issues facing Buckskin with Prime Minister David Cam-eron.

She said: “The situation in Buckskin is being very well handled by the borough council, and I have done everything I can to support their work, in particular raising directly with the Prime Minister at Cabinet level, the need to support local councils, and the concerns around the role of Thames Water.”

Mrs Miller will meet with Thames Water representatives tomorrow to discuss the clean-up programme for Buckskin and to “reiterate concerns that have been raised with me about the timeliness of Thames Water’s intervention.”