Details of how a hardship fund of £200,000, earmarked for those affected by the New Ferry explosion in 2017 should be allocated will be discussed by Wirral Council’s cabinet at its next meeting.

The report has been written and compiled after discussions with councillors and members of New Ferry and Port Sunlight communities.

Wirral Globe:

Flashback: Destruction caused in the explosion in March, 2017

It seeks to ensure that the £200,000 set aside by cabinet in February this year is allocated quickly, efficiently and fairly.

The council proposes giving £1,600 to each of the 83 people identified as being made homeless for more than a week after the explosion on March 25, 2017.

It also proposes the same amount for businesses affected as a result of being situated within the emergency police cordon in the days following the incident.

The remainder of the £200,000 – amounting to around £16,000 – will be used as a community fund to be allocated as grants to social sector organisations in the area under a bidding process.

Cllr Janette Williamson, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “We will never remove the distress, hardship and trauma suffered by the people of New Ferry.

"The dignity and spirit shown by this community since that terrible night has been nothing short of astounding and I think the way they have responded to the challenges they have faced is an example to us all.

Wirral Globe:

Demolition of buildings worst affected by the explosion in New Ferry

“While the recent news of potential Government funding to help rebuild the town is heartening, we must not lose sight of the human impact of this incident.

"That is why I’m so pleased to be in a position to agree this hardship fund, which will provide direct help to those who need it most.”

In the report, council officers say they are confident that through the work done during the immediate emergency and recovery phase after the explosion they have a comprehensive picture of the numbers of people and businesses affected and entitled to a share of the fund.

They believe this should act as a safeguard against any potentially false or fraudulent claims.

They also say due to the information they collected they will be able to complete the process of allocating the money to individuals and businesses within four weeks of the money being released via a simple claim form.

The community fund will clearly take longer to allocate due to the need to conduct a bidding/application process.

The cabinet meeting to discuss allocation of funds will be held on July 22.