Government 'must act fast' over flood-hit Shrewsbury flats as tenants' insurance costs soar

The Government "must act fast" to support residents at flood-hit flats who are facing sky-rocketing insurance bills.

Councillor Alex Wagner at Coton Manor flats
Councillor Alex Wagner at Coton Manor flats

Coton Manor, a block of 68 apartments in Coton Hill, Shrewsbury, is regularly devastated by floods, and residents have told how their insurance costs have soared in the last three years after repeated weather disasters.

One resident, Sue McCulloch, said the building's management received one quote of £250,000 for the block. When she and partner Tommy Fountain bought their top floor flat, the insurance was around £19,000.

She said: "I'll be honest, I can't afford it," over the issue, which is a major concern for residents.

Last summer, the Government announced a new £100 million Frequently Flooded Fund, which will provide support to people whose homes and businesses are regularly hit by floods.

Coton Manor has applied for support, but is still waiting to hear. A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We can confirm a bid to gain funds from the Frequently Flooded Allowance has been made for the ground floor flats in Coton Manor, Shrewsbury.

“No announcement has yet been made by Government on the projects that will benefit from the allowance.”

During this January's floods, the flats did not suffer as badly as in recent years thanks to new barriers, but concerns still remain.

Councillor Alex Wagner, Lib Dem representative for Bowbrook, visited during the most recent floods.

He said: "Speaking to residents at Coton Manor and seeing the flood barriers go up was a testament to how hard this community works, and the progress made on barriers last year.

"This year, many are facing a more existential issue with insurance companies holding residents to ransom ahead of what could be more flooding in February.

"The Government listened when last year residents demanded investment. This year they have to act again, move fast and get residents a fair deal.

"Sadly, this isn't the last we will hear of the Coton Manor issue - and I won't stop until the residents have the deal they deserve, and are treated with fairness and dignity in protecting their homes."

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