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FINANCIAL HELP FOR BOMBED MANCHESTER AND TOWER HAMLETS

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The government is to provide special financial help to ease the burden of dealing with the aftermath of the terrori...
The government is to provide special financial help to ease the burden of dealing with the aftermath of the terrorist bomb attacks in Docklands and Central Manchester, environment secretary John Gummer has announced.

The help will benefit the Tower Hamlets LBC, Manchester city council and the Greater Manchester Police Authority.

At a meeting of the Consultative Council on Local Government Finance (CCLGF), Mr Curry said:

'We have looked most carefully at these authorities' applications to us under the Bellwin scheme (under section 155 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989).

'The nature of the expenditure incurred does not sit easily with that scheme, and neither authority would have received much assistance under it.

'However, on this occasion and in view of the exceptional nature and scale of the incidents, we propose, without prejudice to the outcome of the review of Bellwin which we are conducting (in consultation with the local authority associations), to make support available to the authorities affected by way of special grant under section 88B of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

'We shall be consulting the affected authorities very shortly with detailed proposals which will form the basis of a draft special grant report which we propose to lay before the House for approval before the end of February.

'We anticipate providing support in respect of expenditure incurred in responding to and clearing up after, and incurred within two months of, the relevant attack.

'Grant will not be payable in respect of costs which are normally insurable, nor in respect of expenditure for which other grants have been made or credit approvals have been issued.

'We also propose to make some recompense to authorities where loss of income can be demonstrated clearly.

'Authorities' entitlements to special grant payable under the report will be subject to audit, but, in view of the time which has elapsed since these incidents we propose to make an advance payment to authorities of 90 per cent of their estimated entitlement, with an adjustment after audit.'

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