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Flood relief ‘dumped’ on Chichester District Council

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A CABINET member has blamed central government for ‘dumping’ flood relief work on Chichester District Council.

The government has introduced new measures to help home and business owners recover from bad weather.

But Cllr Josef Ransley said Chichester District Council, which will have to determine who is eligible for a grant, is ‘at the abuse’ of government.

“It is dumping more work on this council so government can grab some headlines,” he said at a Chichester District Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

He said there should be some record of the time officers spend working on the scheme, which he said might not be a ‘cost-effective’ use of officers’ time. However, Cllr Eileen Lintill said the scheme was ‘really important’.

“I don’t support officers keeping a note of how much time they spend on it,” she said.

Cllr John Connor said: “We are a local authority who work with local people. If people are having trouble, let’s deal with it.”

However, Cllr Ransley, said he was not challenging those who had suffered.

“We haven’t got an endless pot of money,” he said. “We want to be spending money on things which makes us seem good. I want to see it done in a cost-benefit way.”

But Heather Caird, leader of the council, said it was not about the council ‘looking good’.

“It is about us doing the right thing. We need to be doing what we can to support those livelihoods.”

Diane Shepherd, chief executive of Chichester District Council, said: “I support the work that 
they are doing around this. We should be responsive to the money that comes in.

“That is part and parcel of 
our job.”

 

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