FLOOD relief schemes for Oxford residents and businesses were approved last night.

Oxford City Council gave the go-ahead to help homeowners and businesses recover from the impact of this winter’s flooding.

It means people whose homes were flooded between December 1, 2013, and March 31, this year, can apply for a council tax discount, which will be funded from a £4m Government pot.

Up to £5,000 for installing flood-proof defences in homes and rate reliefs for businesses will be available as part of the scheme.

The city council’s executive board agreed to implement the fund at its meeting in the Town Hall.

Nigel Kennedy, the city council’s head of finance, said: “We have sent out letters to 60 premises directly affected by flooding and there are a further 60 to be sent out to those indirectly affected.

“We have received 19 applications to date for various combinations of relief. We have said we would like an indication by the end of April of whether they are going to submit claims.”

To qualify for the support scheme, firms must not have a turnover of more than £41.15m and have fewer than 250 employees. Any business flooded wholly or partially will qualify for rate relief.

For details visit oxford.gov.uk/ PageRender/decEH/FloodingSupport.htm