After the immediate response to the fires that ravaged west Norfolk and other parts of the country this week, and the magnificent efforts of the Fire Service and others to deal with them, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk is now moving from providing emergency short-term support to displaced residents to putting in place longer-term help and support to those west Norfolk communities that have been affected.
Cllr Stuart Dark, MBE, Leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, 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.
“I’ve already put on record how grateful we are to the Fire Service, the police and the 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.