Brown Submits Assembly Motion On Flood Recovery

Alliance MLA Submits Flood Recovery Motion to the Assembly

Alliance MLA Patrick Brown has formally submitted a motion addressing flood recovery to the Stormont Assembly.

The motion is in response to recent delays in the flood recovery fund, which was promised to open for businesses at the start of this year but businesses that were flooded are still waiting on flood paymments.

The motion calls on the Minister for the Economy to urgently prioritise the processing of the next phase of the flood relief funding.

It also emphasises the importance of ensuring that flooded businesses excluded from the previous £7.5k funding scheme are included in the next funding phase.

As the flood encroached up Market Street in Downpatrick, Alliance MLA Patrick Brown, right, talks to Brendan Kearney, Chair of the FSB NI. (Photo by Jim Masson / Down News©).

Brown said: “The delay in the promised second phase of the flood recovery fund is significantly impacting our businesses in South Down, particularly in Downpatrick and Newry.

“Despite suggestions before Christmas that the funding would be released in January, this has not occurred. Businesses are now anxious and uncertain about their next steps without any clarity from the department.

“Assisting Downpatrick in their recovery from the flooding is one of my top priorities in the restored Assembly. It is crucial that this issue remains on the agenda, and our businesses receive the support they rightfully deserve.

“I have also urgently requested a meeting with the Minister to outline the urgency of implementing this scheme for businesses in Downpatrick.

Patrick Brown’s motion will be added to the No Day Named List of motions and available for selection by incoming ministers.

The motion reads:

‘That this Assembly recognises the devastating impact of floods across Northern Ireland in late 2023, and the acute impact felt by households and businesses in the South East in particular.

It recognises that extreme weather events such as flooding are a direct result of the climate crisis, and that we must adapt and prepare for future natural disasters, including adequate government funding schemes to protect and support households and businesses.

It calls on the Minister for Economy to urgently expedite the processing of the next phase of flood relief funding for businesses, and ensure this explores ways of including those excluded from previous funding phases.