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Manchester Gets Access to £30m Rescue Fund

Government frees up cash to help riot-ravaged areas

Written by . Published on August 11th 2011.


Manchester Gets Access to £30m Rescue Fund

MANCHESTER will share a £30m rescue package put forward by the government to help repair the economic damage caused by the riots.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced a package of measures to help rebuild communities, open up shops and rebuild damaged buildings.

The cash will also help people who lost their homes get re-housed, as well as councils get their areas back to normal as quickly as possible.

"If you live in a social home and you are caught rioting, your one night of madness could have disastrous consequences for the rest of your lives."

The package of support includes a £10m recovery fund to help councils with the immediate costs of making their areas safe, clear and clean again. This fund can be used, for example, to clear debris left strewn in streets and make immediate repairs to pavements and roads. This Recovery scheme can also be used to support councils who use their powers to offer council tax discounts or council tax relief to those whose homes have been damaged but are still habitable

(Click here to add text)It also includes a £20m High Street support scheme, available immediately, for the streets and areas where businesses were affected by the rioting. The money is intended to finance those measures that will get business trading again and meet short term costs.

Councils will distribute the money and could use it to reduce business rates, finance building repairs and encourage customers back to the affected areas.

In addition, seriously damaged homes and business properties will be taken off the respective valuation lists, removing any liability for council tax or business rates.

Councils will also have the power to offer rate relief for local firms, but must pay a quarter of the cost; central government automatically pays for three quarters of the cost. The High Street Support Scheme will help reimburse councils for this cost, to facilitate immediate and real financial help to be given to small and medium firms to rebuild their local businesses. Business rates are typically the third biggest outgoing for firms after rent and staff.

A re-housing funding will meet the immediate costs of emergency accommodation for families who have been made homeless by the disturbances.

(Click here to add text)Pickles said: "Our priority is to get local communities back on their feet, get businesses up and running again and make sure nobody is left without a roof over their head. We will stand side by side with communities as they rebuild their lives.

"We are making immediate financial support available to those that need help and we will continue to work closely with councils who have already responded to this violence with calm, resolve and professionalism.

"It is not just for the state to support local firms affected by these criminal actions. I encourage every local resident to make an effort to shop locally in this and coming weeks and support the local high streets which are the lifeblood of our communities."

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: "The people who rioted and looted over the past few days need to know that there are consequences to their actions. So they should wake up and listen to this clear message: if you live in a social home and you are caught rioting, your one night of madness could have disastrous consequences for the rest of your lives.

(Click here to add text)"Social housing is a precious resource, and the hard working taxpayers who subsidise it will be rightly wondering why anyone involved in trashing and looting our country should expect to enjoy the benefits of a social home.

"Councils and housing associations already have powers to evict social tenants, if they are involved in anti-social behaviour or criminal activity. I urge them to consider using those powers.

“I am proposing to strengthen the powers so that tenants can be evicted for serious anti-social behaviour or criminal activity beyond their local neighbourhood. So rioters beware - our country will be restored, but the stain on your record will remain, and could count against you in years to come."

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