§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received on increasing the Bellwin scheme for parts of North Yorkshire and the City of York most seriously affected by floods in November 2000. 
§ Dr. Whitehead
I have been asked to reply.
To date North Yorkshire county council has requested assistance through the Bellwin scheme in connection with three separate events: the severe weather events during October to December 2000; the train crash at Great Heck and more recently with the foot and mouth disease outbreak.
In the case of the October to December severe weather events scheme, North Yorkshire did not take up the offer of an advance payment. Payment will be made within 15 days of receipt of its audited claim.
290W Officials are currently looking into the circumstances of claims from North Yorkshire county council and North Yorkshire police authority for assistance with the emergency clear-up costs following the train crash at Great Heck. It is hoped that a decision on whether to activate a scheme will be reached soon.
On 24 April, the then Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford and Urmston (Beverley Hughes), announced the activation of the Bellwin scheme to provide emergency financial assistance to local authorities to help them meet some of the costs of responding to outbreaks of foot and mouth disease. North Yorkshire county council has registered an intention to make a claim under that scheme.
The City of York asked for assistance through the October to December severe weather scheme. It applied for an advance of grant for 80 per cent. of eligible costs above threshold and payment was made within 15 working days of receipt of a claim.