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Shanks working overtime in Cumbrian floods clean-up

Cumbria County Council and its contractor, Shanks Cumbria Ltd, are doubling efforts to dispose of a huge amount of waste created by Storm Desmond.

Thousands of properties have been flooded over the past week, with more rain forecasted.

The county council has temporarily suspended its household waste recycling centre (HWRC) permit scheme.

A Shanks spokesman said: “We are working closely with Cumbria County Council and our sub-contractor to assist with the devastating flooding situation in Cumbria.

“To support the recovery phase, our team is working hard to provide additional staff, an extended service and longer operational hours to handle as much flood-damaged material as possible.”

A Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: “Disposing of flood damaged materials is a big job and we want to try and make that as easy as possible for people.

“With the suspension of the HWRC permit scheme people can now take vans and trailers into the sites we will hopefully speed up the process.

“We also know small businesses can really struggle in the aftermath of flooding so we’re stepping up to help them as best we can.”

Householders are also leaving flood-damaged items outside their homes for collection by district councils.

Residents have to give permission before removal, as some insurance companies require damaged goods to be inspected as part of a claim.

South Lakeland District Council officers have been visiting homes in the worst affected areas of Kendal.

A South Lakeland spokesman said: “We recognise that one of residents’ main concerns is clearing away flood damaged items from their properties so that they can concentrate on the clean-up.

“We are out on the streets arranging to take away flood damaged domestic goods, but would like to stress that the householder should check with their insurer before agreeing to the items being taken in case this affects their claim.”

Resources minister Rory Stewart, who also has the Defra floods brief, is in the area to meet representatives from every affected parish.

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