Flood information and help
Please read our advice below which we will keep updated.
Published: 12 July 2021
Last updated: 16 September 2021
Following severe flooding on Monday 12 July 2021 and Sunday July 25 2021, Westminster City Council is here to help all those affected.
We understand you may feel anxious and upset by this incident and we are ready to help you, with advice and support available for those who need it.
You can call the council’s contact centre on 020 7641 6000 and state that you are affected by the flooding. Our staff will then be able to help you access the support you may need. Council teams can also advise on how to access insurance claims and can help follow-up with housing associations.
If you have adult social care or children’s social care needs, our teams should have already been in contact, but if they have not, please contact the council’s contact centre on 0207 641 6000 for support.
Council Tax exemptions
Westminster City Council will consider applications for Council Tax Hardship relief for periods when properties are uninhabitable. This is known as Section 13A relief and is a relief against a resident’s Council Tax.
Applications should be made to [email protected]
Contacting your housing provider
All residents should make contact directly with their own Housing Provider first if they are experiencing difficulties with their accommodation.
Below are the contact details for the main housing association landlords operating in Westminster:
Public meeting and Section 19 investigation
We hosted an online public meeting with Thames Water for residents and businesses affected by recent floods on Friday 30 July. The recording of the meeting can be viewed here:
We received over 100 questions during the event, and are compiling answers to questions which were not answered during the meeting. We will be posting a summary of the main questions here.
Read a letter from Cllr Melvyn Caplan about the next steps:
We are undertaking a statutory investigation, known as a Section 19 Flood Investigation, in accordance with the process set out in Westminster’s Local Flood Risk Management Strategy to ensure that future incidents are mitigated and responded to as effectively as possible.
Read the terms of reference for the investigation:
We will also hold a special meeting of the Finance, Smart City and City Management Policy and Scrutiny Committee in September. Details of the meeting will also be published here.
Extraordinary Scrutiny Meeting: 30 September 2021
Westminster City Council’s Finance, Smart City and City Management Policy and Scrutiny Committee will be holding an extraordinary meeting on 30 September to investigate the flooding which occurred in parts of the city on 12 July 2021. The Committee will be analysing the flood events, the responses of the parties involved and the impact on the community.
If you wish to pose a question to be answered at the meeting, please email your question to [email protected]. Questions can be submitted until midday on Friday 24 September. Please note, the meeting will not be able to handle specific casework requests and will instead focus on the causes, the response and the impact on the community. If you have a specific case, please contact your ward Councillor. The Committee will use questions submitted as a basis for the debate to take place. Please also note that the council held a public meeting on the subject on 30 July 2021 and a number of questions were posed at this meeting. A summary of the responses to those questions will be available on this page soon.
The meeting will be held at Porchester Hall, Porchester Road, London, W2 5HS, starting at 6:30PM on 30 September 2021, doors open at 6pm. The Committee would welcome public attendance at the meeting. Please note, although the venue is large, there is limited capacity and space will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Other helpful information
Contact details for extra help
There’s lots of health and wellbeing advice available at OneWestminster
You can also e-mail them at [email protected]
Shopping and prescriptions
This service will arrange volunteers to pick up your shopping and deliver it to you, or pick up prescriptions. You can e-mail them at: [email protected]
For referrals to the foodbank
If you need food, please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for referral. You can reach the CAB quickly online by filling out an online enquiry form.
Local Support Payment
If you need help because of an emergency or a crisis, you may be entitled to a Local Support Payment (LSP).
If you have home insurance in place, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report any damage. Before throwing anything away, speak to your insurance company, and make sure you take photographs of any damage in line with your insurance company’s policies.
Disposing of waste
If you have furniture or other items affected by the flood that you wish to dispose of, please call our environmental action line on 020 7641 2000.
Please do not place items on the pavement in advance. Our collection team will call you back to confirm a priority bulky waste collection time.
We are unable to clear floorboards, plasterboard, rubble sacks and similar ‘builders waste’ as these require separate disposal from ‘household waste’ items.
Safety and security
We are liaising with the Metropolitan Police to ensure additional patrols in the area to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, especially where properties are unsecured or empty or where property has been moved to the street. If you witness an incident or are concerned about community safety, please report this to the Police by calling 111. If there is an ongoing crime or serious incident, call 999.
Westminster City Council tenants
If you are a Westminster City Council tenant and have an emergency issue with your property, please call 0800 358 3783.
We are working closely with Thames Water to return the City to normal and identify where improvements are needed. If you have problems with your water supply, contact Thames Water on 0800 316 9800. We have been reassured that water is safe to drink.
Advice for businesses
If you require support, please call the council’s contact centre on 020 7641 6000 and state that you are affected by the flooding. You can also contact the Business Unit for assistance by emailing [email protected] or by calling 020 7641 2070.
If you operate a food premises and access bespoke support or assistance you are able to contact the City Council’s Food Safety Team at [email protected] or call us on 020 7641 1092.
Business owners who are insurance policy-holders are encouraged to contact your insurance providers to check whether you might be able to make a claim on any damage or losses incurred owing to the flooding.
If you are a business owner who is a ratepayer and have suffered significant damage to your business premises or have incurred significant financial losses as a result of the flooding, you will be able to apply for the City Council’s National-Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) Hardship Relief Scheme
There are a variety of websites and resources that businesses can access on how to recover from flooding:
- How to recover after a flood – GOV.UK (flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk)
- Would your business stay afloat? (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- Floodguidance.co.uk – Free flood advice for the UK
- Recovering your business safely after flooding (hse.gov.uk)
Safety Advice for Businesses
You will need to do an initial clean and follow this by disinfecting all surfaces that were contaminated by floodwater. You can clean contaminated surfaces with a brush, hot water and household cleaning fluid. Don’t forget to clean enclosed spaces under kitchen units or floorboards. If floodwater was contaminated with oil or diesel, you’ll need to use a detergent such as washing-up liquid. Once you have finished cleaning, use disinfectant on everything that was in contact with floodwater. You will need to wash contaminated clothing and bedding at a high temperature.
For food-related businesses, there is important advice on the FSA website regarding dealing with food safety following a flood.
Electrical and gas safety is vitally important following flooding.
Before you start clearing up:
- check that the electricity supply is switched off at the mains.
- if you aren’t sure the electricity is turned off, get a qualified person to do this.
- don’t touch sources of electricity while standing in floodwater.
- get any electrical appliances that have come into contact with floodwater checked by a qualified electrician before using them again.
- if you use gas heating or gas appliances in your home, you'll need to get a Gas Safe-registered engineer to do an inspection after a flood.
Here’s some suggested advice on cleaning up after a flood:
You can find further information on cleaning your home from GOV.UK
Thames Water provides support for households in financial hardship via a charity called the Thames Water Trust Fund. The Thames Water Trust Fund is an independent charity, managed by trustees, which offers financial advice, benefit checks, food and fuel vouchers, and can provide essential household goods, such as beds and washing machines.
If you would like to know more about this offer, please contact Thames Water and ask for the Extra Care Team on 0800 009 3652.
Thames Water can also speak to you about other support, such as discounts on bills for low-income households. Find out more.