Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 17:16 UK

Flood victims still in caravans

John Healey visits flood affected residents
Mr Healey visited flood affected residents on a walkabout

More than 5,500 households are not back in their homes following last summer's floods and 1,400 are still living in caravans, the government has revealed.

Floods recovery Minister John Healey promised affected families they had not been forgotten as he visited Toll Bar in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

But he said some were frustrated over the pace of repairs to their homes.

The areas with the most households still displaced are Hull, the East Riding of Yorks and Tewkesbury, Gloucs.

In Hull, 1,989 households are out of their homes and 641 are still living in caravans.

They have not been forgotten and are not on their own
John Healey
Floods recovery Minister

The East Riding of Yorkshire has 1109 households out of their homes and 323 living in caravans.

In Tewkesbury, 388 households are not back in their homes and 144 are living in caravans.

Mr Healey said the number of households living in caravans had fallen by more than 40% between March and the end of April - down from 2,400 to 1,429.

But he said about 5,650 households were not fully back in their homes.

On a walk around Toll Bar, Mr Healey visited families affected by last year's deluge.

Angela Mahoney is planning to return home in a few days' time after nearly nine months living in a caravan park.

Flood response

She told the Minister: "I miss the upstairs the most - once you've cleaned one of these caravans, it takes you half an hour and you're done."

Mr Healey also visited Sharon and Mick Sanderson, the first residents to move back home from their caravan in March.

"It was all right to start with, the council did what they could to keep the community together," said Mrs Sanderson.

"But two weeks is enough in a caravan for a holiday. It was just great to get back home."

Mr Healey described the response to the floods - which saw 48,000 homes affected - as one of the biggest operations since World War II.

Flooding in Hull
More than 10,000 properties in Hull were damaged by the floods

"A huge amount has been achieved in terms of getting communities back on their feet and the insurance industry has played a big part in this.

"But the fact remains that far too many households are still in temporary accommodation and unable to return home."

Mr Healey urged councils and the insurance industry to "step up the pace of progress over the coming weeks and months".

He said: "I want those people still out of their own homes, living upstairs or in caravans to know that they have not been forgotten and are not on their own."

Mr Healey said he put his concerns to the Director General of the Association of British Insurers last week and would be meeting with top executives from the main insurance companies early next month.

In Lincolnshire, more than 80 families are still in temporary accommodation.

In East Lindsey there are 47 families who have still not returned to their homes.




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