§ Mr. Ernie Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the expenditure incurred by the former Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council after severe weather in early 1996, and for Moray Council as a result of flooding in July 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Macdonald
I am glad to announce that Dumfries and Galloway Council is eligible for a payment of £136,553 under the Bellwin Scheme. The Scheme was triggered twice in 1996, firstly for severe weather in late December 1995 and early January 1996 for the whole of Scotland, and again in February 1996 for heavy snowfalls in the Dumfries and Galloway region alone. The Council's costs were in clearing main roads of snow to keep key communications open and in decanting motorists to temporary shelter.
I am also pleased to announce that we have decided that Moray Council is eligible for a payment of £623,206 under the Bellwin Scheme. The Scheme was triggered in July 1997 for severe flooding in the Moray area. For the most 686W part this payment will reimburse the council for the costs of providing alternative accommodation for evacuees made homeless by the flooding and for addressing the immediate effects of flood damage to roadways, footpaths and bridges.
Both Councils' claims have been subject to detailed scrutiny.