The Buncefield incident had an adverse effect on many local residents and businesses and since it happened our key focus has been to provide support and practical assistance to those suffering hardship as a consequence. We have provided assistance directly and through working in partnership with local organizations including Dacorum Community Trust, Maylands Business Groups and Chamber of commerce.
Since the incident happened, we have donated £350,000 to the Mayor's Recovery Fund, along with £48,000 to the Dacorum Community Trust (DCT) to cover the running costs of administering the scheme. According to DCT, the fund had given over £220,000 to local people by the end of 2006. To find out more about the Mayors Recovery Fund click here to contact the Dacorum Community Trust.
In addition to these donations, we have given £8,000 to the Hemel Hempstead Citizens Advice Bureau to help meet the costs of increased demand for their services following the incident.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, we undertook a number of initiatives to provide relief. These included:
- Setting up helplines to provide advice for local residents on urgent repairs and assistance with their insurance claims. These helplines continue to be available;
- Making a repair and assistance team available to help with immediate emergency property repairs;
- Establishing a confidential, free counselling service to provide psychological support for those who needed it. This is still available for those in need. Click here for more information;
- Making a series of financial donations to local branches of the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, and ongoing donations to local schools and community organisations; and
- Jointly sponsoring the Hemel 2020 Regeneration initiative to promote inward investment to the local area.
In addition to these initiatives, in recognition of the need to help local business affected by the incident, we are providing £100,000 to the Maylands Business to fund a development manager who has been tasked with preparing a bid to make Maylands a Business Improvement District (BID).