FLOODING: Shopkeeper ‘fed up with the floods and insurance' will close business (From Herald Series)
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FLOODING: Shopkeeper ‘fed up with the floods and insurance' will close business
A FIRM off Botley Road has decided to close next year partly because of the floods.
Tired residents and business owners have found themselves having to pick up the pieces this week after floods finally receded.
And for some, the damage will take longer to heal than others.
Richard Webster, of WS Supplies on Lamarsh Road – which was under water – said the cost to businesses was high and he has had enough.
The 56-year-old told the Mail: “This year, we have lost five days of business – and that costs three or four thousand pounds. This has happened three times now and the insurance never pays out as much as we would like.
“Last time we put in a claim of £40,000 for the stock we lost but were paid less than a quarter of what we asked for.
“And there is no point claiming anyway, because they just put up the premiums afterwards.”
As a result of previous years of flooding, and difficult economic conditions, Mr Webster said he plans to shut his shop next year.
He added: “I’m fed up and it is time to get out.
“Even though this year we have been proactive with reacting to the floods, my lease is up next year so we are just not going to renew it.
“By this stage we would have moved anyway. This was just another fly in the ointment, not a final nail in the coffin.”
For residents the experience of rebuilding after the floods washed away is just as familiar.
Andrew Ivett of Earl Street, 61, said: “You can’t really put a value on what I’ve lost yet.
“I have put in an insurance claim but this is the fourth time I’ve been through this.”
As a result of this year’s floods, Mr Ivett has been forced to replace all the carpets on the ground floor of his home and, in the past, rewire his home.
“The drying out will take four to six weeks,” he said. “And it also depends on whether the walls are okay.
“Last time I had all the rewiring done and moved the plug sockets up the wall so the water can’t get to them.
“But it is difficult because while I’m repairing my home, I can’t really plan anything “I have to schedule everything around the work that needs to be done.”
SCHEMES OFFERING SUPPORT
- Some financial support is available to people affected by flooding.
- The city council offers essential repair grants of up to £5,000, which are means-tested and flexible home improvement loans, which are available for the over-60s and are not means-tested.
- Full details can be found at oxford.gov.uk/homeimprovement
- In times of extreme weather, the Government can activate the Bellwin scheme, to give emergency support to local authorities.
- It provides funding to councils to reimburse them for money they have to spend on dealing with the aftermath of events such as flooding or high levels of ice and snowfall.
- Two UK banks have also launched a £250m business fund to provide loans to firms affected by recent floods and gales.
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