Minister pledges to look into South Lynn families’ insurance problems as he meets businesses from flood-hit areas of Norfolk in Norwich
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A minister pledged to see whether it could be made easier for people living in areas at risk from flooding to obtain household insurance.
Skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock met small businesses and representatives of communities affected by last December's storms.
Prime Minister David Cameron has asked him to report back from the meeting, which was held in Norwich, and identify lessons for the future.
Alexandra Kemp, county councillor for South Lynn, told Mr Hancock many families living in her ward had difficulty obtaining flood cover.
'People are saying they're just being refused it,' she said. 'It's a huge area of Lynn where we've got all the new properties being built, it's an important issue. The minister said he's going to look into it.'
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Many of those who lost their homes further around the coastline did not have insurance. While insurers are prepared to offer insurance to those living in areas at risk, their premiums are not capped meaning some can't afford them.
Hunstanton businessman William Searle, who runs Searles Seatours, discussed improvements to the town's flood defences with Mr Hancock.
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Mr Searle said the resort needed a slipway near the now demolished Kit Kat club to be re-instated and a rock-armoured jetty to protect its golden sands.
'First and foremost, you need the Kit Kat ramp put back to bring back the golden sands,' he said. 'A rock-armoured jetty off the north wall could absorb a lot of energy.
'If we had a jetty it would attract more tourists to the north prom, people would be able to fish off it, they could put boats off it.'
Mr Searle said Mr Hancock, who grew up in Thetford and had spent time in Hunstanton, seemed receptive to his ideas.
'There was no you can't have this or that's not available,' he said. 'He was taking things on board.'
After the meeting, Mr Hancock said: 'Now that the clear-up is largely complete we need to take stock of what lessons we can learn for the future and how we can improve flood resilience and tackle coastal erosion in the region.'