ENVIRONMENT Minister Alex Attwood announced on Wednesday that District Councils can avail of humanitarian aid to cover their costs over the severe weather conditions.
The humanitarian aid may take the form of covering costs for the following:
• hiring additional vehicles, plant and machinery;
• materials used for emergency repairs;
• setting up temporary premises for citizens and staff;
• removal and any increased costs due to expenditure on rent, rates, communications, lighting, heating, cleaning and insurance;
• emergency supplies of food and other emergency provisions;
• overtime worked on the emergency;
• additional temporary employees or contractors involved in the emergency work;
• any legal, clerical and other charges incurred in relation to the above examples.
Minister Attwood said: “District Councils in areas affected by the severe weather have been playing a key role in ensuring the safety and comfort of citizens.
“This includes having dedicated emergency co-ordination officers who pull together all the important work being done by emergency services in their area.
“District Councils play a central role in working with other agencies to help people stranded or in hardship.
“Their staff have been helping Roads Service to clear badly blocked roads, as well as co-ordinating the provision, by air and special teams, of food and medical supplies to those worst affected.
“I salute the round the clock work being done by Councils to help alleviate the suffering of their citizens.
“It is only right therefore that local councils and in turn local ratepayers should not be out of pocket for the emergency service they provide. That is why they will be eligible for grant aid from my Department for this humanitarian work.”