Progress on floods solution welcomed

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MORPETH campaigners for fairer flood insurance have welcomed a Government statement about its progress in developing a solution.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman included in her speech to the House of Commons that talks are on-going about a cross subsidy and levy system, which forms the basis of the Morpeth proposal.

A Statement of Principles (SoP) is currently in place between the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Government to provide reassurance about the continued availability of flood insurance for victims.

But it is due to end on June 30 next year and there are fears that many householders in flood-risk areas may not be able to renew their policies.

Morpeth Flood Action Group (MFAG), the town council and Chamber of Trade came together to form a working group which developed what members believe is a sustainable and fair approach to the issue.

In her statement, Ms Spelman said: “The Government is considering with the industry’s support a way of formalising existing pricing arrangements and maintaining the current cross-subsidy in place between policyholders.

“This would be by means of an internal industry levy, as proposed by insurers themselves.

“By reflecting existing arrangements, the levy would avoid increasing costs for those not at risk whilst helping households to continue to afford insurance in flood risk areas.

MFAG Chairman Alan Bell said: “We’re not expecting a quick solution, but this is an encouraging statement and we’re more confident that those in flood risk areas will get the support they need.”

Coun David Parker added: “We’re pleased to hear that the minister is very hopeful of a positive outcome.”