Residents of Helston, Mullion and Porthleven now have a stock of sandbags after they were handed out free sandbags last Friday for those in 'at risk' areas.

As a result of advice from the Met Office and the Environment Agency, Cornwall Council distributed 1,000 sandbags to Helston, Penzance, Looe and Bude.

In Helston these were picked up from the Coronation Park car park, which saw a steady stream of residents arriving to collect their quota of up to ten bags – the number recommended to protect the entrance of an average property.

Town warden Craig Bowcutt and councillor Ronnie Williams were on hand to help distribute them and lift them into cars.

Other locations included the Wherry Town car park in Penzance, the Millpool car park in Looe and the Crescent car park in Bude.

Peter Marsh, interim director of environment at the council, said the council had worked to identify the areas at greatest risk of flooding, with sandbags then distributed in preparation for the high tide.

It follows a decision by the government the previous day, to let local authorities recover the costs of distributing free sandbags.

Geoff Brown, the council’s cabinet member for homes and communities, said: “The previous policy of the council, agreed by the last administration, was that the council would not provide sandbags, free or otherwise.

“It advised residents to purchase them for domestic use. This has been adhered to and, contrary to reports, the council has not sold sandbags to any residents.”

However, following a promise by both Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg, the council was now “grateful for that assurance” after “some considerable uncertainty,” added Mr Brown.

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