Anger at delay over Malmesbury flood cash
Generous supporters of Malmesbury’s Flood Appeal are questioning the use of their money after some victims almost spent Christmas without basic necessities.
It has been revealed that some who lost their belongings to Malmesbury’s November floods struggled through the festive period, despite the appeal raising more than £10,000.
Tracey Tucker, 39, who was rescued from her home when she suffered an asthma attack as her house filled with water, faced a Christmas without some basic essentials until a town councillor stepped in.
Her partner, Stuart Causer, said: “We were talking to Simon Killane at the party hosted by the BBC’s One Show and he was annoyed that money hadn’t really been given.
“Simon bought us a freezer and twin electric hob, which he has now been refunded for. “We still don’t really have anything – we’re trying to furnish a two-bedroom house with basically nothing.
“Everything on the ground floor of Tracey’s house was destroyed; we didn’t manage to salvage any furniture.”
Julie Exton, Malmesbury Vic Football Club secretary, said: “Tracey works in the chemist and has given her whole life to helping people and working there.
“There was a lady who didn’t have any saucepans and went to another charity, one of the churches. I’m so annoyed that we’ve given to the fund and it doesn’t seem to be helping.
“The money was collected to go to people who had lost everything. A lot need money to get things for now and the next six months where they’re living.”
A group has been created on Facebook, where concerns have been aired about how flood appeal funds will be spent.
One post read: “Surely the flood appeal should be helping all these people? Must be absolutely awful to have already lived in misery for a month and now having to do so over Christmas. “Something’s gone very wrong here. People should have long ago been given cookers, fridges, etc.”
But mayor Ray Sanderson, who set up the appeal and manages the money with six committee members, said: “Everybody’s needs have been met. In regards to the couple who didn’t have a freezer or oven, they did not apply in time for the first lot of money; we received the application on December 23. “Everybody has got what they want. I have given microwaves, toasters, saucepans, and money to replace shoes and perishable goods.”
The Environment Agency, Wiltshire Council and the National Flood Forum are hosting advice sessions for residents in the town hall today until 7.30pm. A website has been created to inform and update Malmesbury residents on flooding in the town, at http:// malmesburyfloodinfo.weebly.com/