RESIDENTS directly affected by last year's explosion in New Ferry are being urged to apply for support from an emergency disaster fund.

Ward councillor Jo Bird will table a notice of motion at the full council meeting on December 10, calling on leader Phil Davies to continue to remind people affected by the blast to seek help via the Local Welfare Assistance Fund.

The notice will also call on the local authority to work with the Liverpool City Region to help the town, to push for assistance regenerating New Ferry and to write to the Government to "set the record straight" on claims in a letter from communities secretary James Brokenshire that the authority had not made an initial request for funding after the disaster.

Cllr Davies said the claims were 'outrageous and entirely untrue.'

In the letter, Mr Brokenshire also stated that 'incidents the size' of New Ferry 'do not normally justify additional Government funding.'

Re-iterating his intention to 'set the record straight' Cllr Davies said: "We have seen the people of New Ferry let down again and again by the Government, despite our best efforts to seek additional help for the people who lost their homes and businesses through no fault of their own.

"Additionally, it's important that we correct any impression that Wirral Council hasn't made every effort to help the town in the wake of devastating explosion.

"And given the Secretary of State’s recent letter to Alison McGovern MP we will see if the Government's disaster relief Bellwin scheme will now help the town, while I will also use the opportunity of writing to the Secretary of State to explain that this council worked as hard as possible to help residents and businesses in New Ferry and it’s now time for the Government to help."

Around £400,000 of Wirral Council funds has been spent in the wake of the explosion as part of a bid to help make the area safe.

This included helping those who left homeless and those whose businesses were destroyed by the blast.

The council is also still awaiting a response to a regeneration scheme requested by the government and submitted to Whitehall more than a year ago.

Bromborough councillor Jo Bird, who is proposing the notice of motion, said: "The New Ferry explosion ripped through homes, lives and livelihoods.

"If this happened in your area, you’d be right to expect government to help.

"The impact of the huge blast has not ended.

"Some families are facing their second Christmas in temporary accommodation.

"Some local businesses have had to shut up shop.

"Many people got into spiralling debt to pay for essential emergency living costs.

"I am pleased that Wirral Council is providing direct support to people most affected by the disaster.

"I look forward to applications for support from affected people - and significant payments being made, without undue delay.

"I also look forward to government accepting a strong application from Wirral to the Bellwin disaster scheme."

People affected in any way by the explosion are welcome to drop into support sessions on Saturday, December 8 between 10am and 3pm, at Windsor Close Community Centre in Windsor Close, New Ferry CH62 5BX.

For more information about the Local Welfare Assistance scheme see: