Cornwall will get the money to pay for infrastructure repairs – Cameron
THE PRIME Minister has insisted Cornwall has been promised funds to pay for infrastructure repairs caused by the storms that have ripped through the county.
At Newquay Cornwall airport on Monday, David Cameron met Cornwall Council leader John Pollard and chief executive Andrew Kerr, who outlined the scale of the problems.
Mr Cameron said the Government would provide the money to get Cornwall back in business.
He would be lifting the 85 per cent threshold under the Bellwin scheme to aid local authorities affected by coastal storms and flooding, meaning Cornwall Council would be fully reimbursed.
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The Government will also subsidise flights from Newquay with passengers paying £5 less for their tickets in coming weeks.
Mr Cameron said: "Instead of providing 85 per cent (under the Bellwin scheme) we will be providing 100 per cent for Cornwall, so the council will be reimbursed at this time.
"We announced last week that £130 million extra will be provided to local authorities and I'm sure Cornwall will get its share.''
"Cornwall is open for business, and I will be encouraging people to come to Cornwall.''
Earlier the Prime Minister visited Kingsand in south east Cornwall to see for himself the damage caused by the storms, and in the morning he was in Plymouth talking to train operator First Great Western about ensuring its replacement bus services were as good as they could be.
"I've also been talking to Network Rail about the long-term future and a more resilient rail link to the peninsula, and I will also be speaking to Network Rail in a few minutes' time about restoring the Dawlish link as soon as possible,'' he added.
Mr Cameron said he would be having a telephone meeting with other members of Cobra, the Government's national emergency committee, to get the track problems at Dawlish resolved as soon as possible.
Cornwall Council leader John Pollard said: "Cornwall is one of the areas which has been worst affected by the recent storms and the bill for repairs is rising all the time.
"The latest estimate of the costs of repairing our infrastructure is £21.35 million and we emphasised to the Prime Minister the importance of ensuring that Cornwall does not have to fight against other areas of the country for the additional funding it needs.
"We are also very grateful for the Government's decision to reduce the threshold for the Bellwin scheme to help large authorities like Cornwall and we have asked Mr Cameron to further extend the time for submitting claims under the scheme to give us enough time to put our bid together.''
Mr Kerr added: "The Prime Minister certainly recognised the impact of the closure of the main rail line on Cornwall."