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Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Flooding Assistance February 2020

The recent flooding events in Rhondda Cynon Taf has affected thousands of properties and many residents are now facing the devastating clean-up operation.
 

Please note: If you have contacted the Council requesting flooding assistance, please be reassured that we are dealing with each and every request and we will be contacting you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience while we deal with a high number of applications. We have received your form and you do not need to submit an additional form

 

Apply for the Community Flood Recovery Grant along with other help and assistance:

The Council is urging residents to let us know if you have affected by flooding so that we can offer as much help and assistance as it can during this time, including applying for the Community Flood Recovery Grant – Hardship Payment, booking free special collections for household goods and replacement wheelie bins for affected residents: 

Please note: This is only available to eligible RCT residents, who have been affected by internal flooding to their households.

 

The following links aim to provide help, assistance and advice to those affected:

Streetcare and Cleansing 

The Council's dedicated Streetcare team are out and about across the County Borough helping to clean up the devastating mess left behind by the recent flooding. This will remain a priority for the team for the foreseeable future. 

This may result in some minor delays to refuse and recycling collections and routine cleansing jobs, as staff have been re-deployed to deal with the flooding clean-up.

Free special collections and replacement wheelie bins are available to affected residents and can be obtained via the form below.  

Apply for the Community Flood Recovery Grant along with other help and assistance:

The Council is urging residents to let us know if you have affected by flooding so that we can offer as much help and assistance as it can during this time, including appying for the Community Flood Recovery Grant – Hardship Payment, booking free special collections for household goods and replacement wheelie bins for affected residents: 

Please note: This is only available to eligible RCT residents, who have been affected by internal flooding to their households.

 

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Housing Assistance

If you are in need of housing assistance/advice and can no longer remain in your home due to the recent floods, please call the Housing Advice Centre on 01443 495188 or email HousingFloodSupport@rctcbc.gov.uk.

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Community Flood Recovery Grant – Hardship Payment 

The Council is making financial support available to residents and small and medium sized businesses affected by the recent flooding (Storm Dennis).  A grant is available of £500 per household and £1,000 per business.  

Since the release of the news of the Household Hardship Payment the council has received in excess of 450 enquires overnight via the online form, and our Community Services Teams have been out in locations to make sure we have collected as many household details as possible.
 

How to claim the support: 

Residents 

Please note: Payments are now being automatically arranged for all residents who are known to the Council to have been affected by internal water damage into their home.   

These payments will be distributed through the below community hub / centres commencing on Monday 24th February 2020.  Payment will be made via a cheque payment or can be amended on the day to a payment direct to your bank account. 

Please expect to be contacted by telephone over the next few days to make arrangements to attend one of the following sessions, staff from our Community Services Teams and Finance will be there to help you.

Please attend the location closest to your home, as per below, the dates are as follows: 

Monday 24th

Tuesday 25th

Thursday 27th

Friday 28th

Canolfan Pentre – 9.30am – 5pm

Trallwng Community centre 9.30am – 5pm

Canolfan Pennar, Mt Ash 9.30am – 5pm

Coleg y Cymoedd 9.30am – 4pm Room NDG10 ground floor

 

Trehafod Village Hall (if needed) 9.30am – 5pm

Taffs Well Hub 9.30am – 5pm

 

We are aware that not everybody will be able to make these dates/times, and please do not worry if this is the case, we can make other arrangements if necessary and will be using our mobile Library Service buses to visit specific locations too.

We will let you know of the Mobile arrangements very soon. In the meantime, please continue to use the online services and contact numbers if you have any queries.

If you have not already been in contact with the Council about water damage to your home, then please notify us immediately by completing the Flood Assistance Form.

Businesses (Small and Medium Sized) 

Eligible businesses who have been impacted have already been in contact with the Council and those qualifying for assistance will now be contacted directly.  You will need to complete a short application form and payment will be arranged immediately upon return.  

If you have not already notified the council that you have been affected by water damage to your business, then please notify us immediately by completing the Flood Assistance Form

Please note, this financial support is for owner-occupier / tenants and not for landlords.

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How to recover after a flood

Contact your insurance company

If you’ve been flooded, contact your insurance company and follow their advice. If you haven’t got insurance, the National Flood Forum can offer help and support on 01299 403055.

Check if you can return home

  • If you’ve had to leave your home, check with the emergency services that it’s safe before you return.
  • Your home or business may also need a safety inspection by the utility companies before you can turn the water, gas and electricity back on.

Cleaning and repairing your home

  • Take advice from specialists before starting repairs to your property. Most of the repair work after flooding will need to be undertaken by professionals appointed by your insurers.
  • Flood water may contain harmful substances like sewage, chemicals and animal waste which could make you unwell. If you come into contact with flood water, wash your hands thoroughly.
  • If you feel unwell this does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from any infection.  If you are concerned, then call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit your family doctor.
  • You should contact your doctor if you become ill after accidentally swallowing contaminated water or mud, particularly if you develop diarrhoea, fever or abdominal pain within 10 days of being in contact with floodwater or sewage.
  • When cleaning your home after a flood always wear gloves, a face mask and sturdy footwear. Find out how to clean up your home safely after a flood.
  • Before you start cleaning, take photographs to document damage and record the flood water height. Ask your insurer before discarding items that cannot be cleaned, like mattresses and carpets.
  • If you use heaters or dehumidifiers to dry out your property, make sure there’s good ventilation. Never use petrol or diesel-powered generators indoors – their exhaust gases are potentially lethal.View warning by south wales fire and rescue.
  • If you have any questions about recovering from a flood, such as disposing of used sandbags or damaged furniture, please contact us on 01443 425001.
  • Please empty fridges and white goods before placing them out for collection - you can book a free collectionabove. 
  • When cleaning away soil and debris, please avoid sweeping it down the drain as this could block the drainage system. Please collect debris and place in your household waste for collection.

Protect your property from future floods

Help from other organisations:

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Volunteers and Donations 

The Community spirit shown across the County Borough has been amazing and offers of help and donations are continuing to pour in. If you would like to make a donation or offer support please contact the RCTtogether team on the details below: 

Food Donation Appeal 

Following the extensive damage caused by Storm Dennis which saw over 500 homes suffering damage from internal flooding, the Council is appealing for food donations to help those who have been impacted.

Many of the residents affected have been left without white goods including fridges and freezers, with others also losing their mode of transport as hundreds of cars across RCT have been written off.

To help those who have lost so much, the Council is now issuing a call to action to local supermarkets, businesses and residents to donate non-perishable items over the next week so that every home affected is able to receive a food parcel.

More details are availble here or email FloodRelief@rctcbc.gov.uk

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Beware of Rogue Traders

Please be aware the Council has had a number of reports of rogue traders in the area, falsely offering support and claiming to be from the Council, housing associations or utility companies. ALL Council staff, housing association teams and utility company employees will carry ID cards and you should always check their details before allowing them in to your property or sharing information with them - Find out how to report a scam.

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Parents and Carers of Pupils in Rhondda Cynon Taf Schools

All schools will re-open w/c Monday 24th February 2020, as usual. A uniform hardship fund of £100 per child will be available to residents whose home is affected by internal flooding. This will be in addition to the Community Flood Recovery Grant – Hardship Payment, and made as a single payment. If you have already applied for the Community Flood Recovery Grant – Hardship Payment or have made contact with the Council, the payment will be made automatically and you do not need to re-apply.  

Please note: This is only available to eligible RCT residents, who have been affected by internal flooding to their households.  

If you have any transport queries please contact the Transport Unit on 01443 425001.

If you have any education queries please contact the Education and Inclusion Services on 01443 281162.

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Council Tax and Business Rates

If your home or business has been affected by flooding caused by Storm Dennis over the past week please be aware of the following advice in relation to Council Tax and Business Rates payments:

Council Tax

In a number of circumstances your property may have now become exempt from Council Tax. These are:

Class A – Dwellings requiring or undergoing major repair or structural alteration to render it habitable

The property will be exempt for a maximum time limit of 12 month so long as it is vacant and:

  • It requires or is undergoing structural alteration, or
  • It is undergoing structural alteration, or
  • It has undergone major repair works to render it habitable or structural alteration, and less than six months have elapsed since the date on which the work was substantially completed and the dwelling has continuously remained vacant since that date – i.e. if the work was completed after 3 months, then the maximum exemption that would apply is 9 months.

Class C – Dwellings that have become vacant

If a property is left unoccupied and unfurnished an exemption of up to 6 months will apply. The exemption will commence from the date the property is left unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

If either of these situations now apply to your home please complete the application form and the Council will be in contact with you to arrange an inspection of your property if it is considered necessary:

If you have been required to temporarily move out of your home or have had to permanently relocate you should also keep the Council Tax section informed so that your council tax records can be kept up to date – please complete the change of address form.

Business Rates

Exempt Properties

Although most business properties will be liable to pay business rates even when they are empty, there are a number of exemptions to this rule, principally properties such as shops and offices will be exempt for the first three months after they become vacant and for industrial premises the exemption will be for a period of six months. If, as a result of Storm Dennis, your business premises has now become empty please e-mail the Council at revenues@rctcbc.gov.uk providing the full details of your circumstances so that your case can be reviewed and an inspection of your premises arranged. 

Partial Occupation

If flooding damage has affected your premises and you are unable to use some part of it and therefore are operating your business out of a smaller area for example then, with assistance from the Council, this can be reported to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) (the agency with responsibility for setting the rateable value of your business premises). The VOA will review your case and may decide to temporarily reduce the rateable value of your premises for a maximum period of 6 months. This will mean you will pay less business rates while these conditions apply. If this is the case for your business then please contact the Council at revenues@rctcbc.gov.uk.