South Scotland

'Cut off' Newcastleton's plight raised in Holyrood

Storm Dennis clean-up Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Newcastleton was badly affected by flooding during Storm Dennis

The plight of a Borders village left "cut off" by Storm Dennis has been raised in the Scottish Parliament.

MSP Rachael Hamilton said roads around Newcastleton had been left "almost impassable" due to the severe weather.

She asked the Scottish government what was being done to give immediate help to the area.

Rural affairs minister Mairi Gougeon said she was "absolutely committed" to offering assistance following a visit to the village.

Ms Hamilton - who represents Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire - praised the response of ministers to the flooding.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The village is said to have been "cut off" by the damage caused by the floods

Ms Gougeon's visit to the village on Tuesday followed that of the first minister on Monday.

"Storm Dennis caused unprecedented damage across the Borders region," said Ms Hamilton.

"Many people have had to be rehoused, including elderly and vulnerable people, and the local roads are almost impassable.

"Essentially, this already remote village is cut off in most directions."

She thanked everyone who had helped out but asked what immediate support would be offered.

'Sense of isolation'

Ms Gougeon said steps had been taken to ensure temporary accommodation was available for those who needed it.

"That was really what I got from the meeting with residents today - it was really just that sense of isolation," she added.

"I completely understand the part about the roads as well because a lot of them are still closed in the area, which has just compounded the problem."

She said that as a result of the meeting she would also contact the housing minister to see what could be done to ensure everyone had the accommodation they needed.

Ms Gougeon added that she would be happy to pay another visit to the village to see how the clean-up was progressing and what additional support could be offered.

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