Scotland winter weather: Rain gives way to cold as SNP promises money for flood victims

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledges an extra £12 million in funding for communities affected

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The Independent Online

Scotland is set to be relieved from record-breaking spell of wet and unseasonably mild weather as freezing temperatures blow in from the north.

However, a number of severe weather warnings have been issued for Scotland and England for Sunday.

Parts of north east Scotland have suffered major flooding in recent days. In the towns of Inverurie, Port Elphinstone and Ellon, homes were evacuated as the River Don burst its banks.

The Donside area, Keith, Huntly, Turriff, Kintore and parts of Aberdeen have also been affected.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited communities affected by flooding in Inverurie and Newton Stewart. 

On visiting some of the areas, she said: "In the face of devastation Scotland's communities have rallied together and shown real strength.”

“I have met with some local business owners who have made a real difference by offering vital support and once again I am amazed by the determination and dedication of all of our emergency services who are working around the clock to save homes and livelihoods.”

She also promised an extra £12 million in funding to help flood victims. This money will include a £1,500 grant for every household, business premises or charity directly affected by flood water, and a £5 million fund for councils to replace damaged infrastructure.  

People in any part of the country who have suffered from the floods, which followed Storm Frank, can apply for a grant.

This funding follows Deputy First Minister John Swinney’s budgetary promise of an extra £4 million to help manage the effects of flooding.  

Opposition politicians have welcomed the money but argued that it must be delivered effectively.

 Sarah Boyack, Scottish Labour's environmental justice spokeswoman, has furthered calls for a review of flood defence infrastructure. 

She said: "It is vital that those affected receive this money as soon as possible. Families and local businesses can't wait for months for this support to actually arrive.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes, who lives in Ellon, one of the town's badly hit by flooding, said: "I'm pleased the First Minister has finally given us details of how the Scottish Government plans to help home owners, business owners and farmers affected by the recent flooding get back on track.

"Lessons need to be learnt on what's happened in Scotland since the start of 2016 because I still think this response took place at a snail's pace."

Press Association contributed to this report.