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King's Lynn & West Norfolk council continuing help to those affected by Brancaster, Snettisham and Knights Hill fires





The borough council is now moving from providing emergency short-term support to displaced residents to putting in place longer-term help for those West Norfolk communities hit by wildfires.

Tinder-dry heatwave conditions produced fires that ravaged West Norfolk in places like Brancaster, Snettisham and Knights Hill as well as other parts of the country this week.

Cllr Stuart Dark, leader of the borough council, said: "What we have seen this week as a result of continued dry weather and searing temperatures has been absolutely devastating, with homes lost and acres of grassland, trees and habitat destroyed.

Brancaster fire, July 19, 2022.
Brancaster fire, July 19, 2022.

"I’ve already put on record how grateful we are to the Fire Service, the police and coastguard for everything they have done for us and we are just relieved that there was no loss of human life.

"What we know though, is that we now need to provide ongoing support to those most affected. Our Lily service is on hand and funded to provide support and assistance to anyone that has been directly impacted by the fires.

"Our Lily advisors have supported people throughout the Covid pandemic and provided support for Ukraine refugees.

Brancaster fire, July 19, 2022.
Brancaster fire, July 19, 2022.

"They can help point people in the right direction for additional help and support and can assist directly with cash and essentials particularly whilst they are waiting for their insurers, or just provide a listening ear if that's what's needed.

"This help supplements the work of our housing team helping with accommodation issues."

People can make contact with Lily either through the website asklily.org.uk, or by calling 01553 616200. The Lily advisers will listen to you and help you come up with some solutions, or put you in touch with the relevant team.

Fire at Brancaster Staithe. MLNF-22MF070215
Fire at Brancaster Staithe. MLNF-22MF070215

In addition to this support, Cllr Angie Dickinson, the council's cabinet member for finance, in consultation with the leader of the council, mindful of the lost habitat at Brancaster, Snettisham and Knights Hill and other parts of West Norfolk as a result of these fires, is looking at options, within the council's imminent outturn report, of how significant financial support can be provided to re-establishing lost vegetation.

Serious fire at Brancaster Staithe. MLNF-22MF070218
Serious fire at Brancaster Staithe. MLNF-22MF070218

Cllr Dickinson, said: "We are a council that has previously declared a ‘climate emergency’, created a detailed action plan we are working to and have already undertaken significant work to lower our carbon footprint, with an initial budget of £1m over four years for Climate Change activities.

Fire at Brancaster Staithe. MLNF-22MF070219
Fire at Brancaster Staithe. MLNF-22MF070219

"We are going to recommend that an additional budget be set aside from reserves in this outturn to invest in replacing what has been lost in this and any future environmental disaster. This would be the responsibility of the portfolio holder for environment."

The full outturn report is scheduled to be published next week. Please check the council’s website west-norfolk.gov.uk for further information.



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