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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Flooding one year on - Council Leader urges more Government action

Calderdale Council’s Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel will visit Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden this Thursday 27 June to see the progress which has been made in recovering from the devastating floods of 2012.

Outside the Shoulder of Mutton - click to enlarge- Photo: HebWeb

Chair of the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel, Cllr Scott Benton, said: “This Scrutiny meeting gives those affected a further opportunity to understand what happened during the floods of last summer and to provide us with valuable information to help the Council and partner organisations continue to plan for the future.

“I look forward to hearing from volunteer flood wardens from the new Flood Group set up in Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden in the aftermath of the floods, and the views of the Council and its partners, including the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water.”

Cllr Benton added: “The Scrutiny Panel is open to the public and we are very keen to hear from local residents, particularly those directly affected by the flooding last year, and representatives of the local Parish/Town Councils and Borough Council Wards.”

The meeting is at 5pm on Thursday 27 June, 2013 at Todmorden Town Hall.

Response from Calderdale Council Leader Tim Swift

Council Leader asks scrutiny panel to support his calls for Government action on flooding

Council Leader Tim Swift is urging the Economy and Environment scrutiny panel to support calls he is making to the Government for changes to help the Council’s flood preparation and prevention strategy.

Clllr Swift said, “The scrutiny panel has already looked at the flooding issues on a number of occasions, and it’s important that we keep focussing on what we can do together to improve deences an dmake sure communities are better prepared for the future. In addition to the overall case for funding for major flood prevention work, there are some practical changes the Government could make which would significantly help individuals, small businesses and the Council to be able to do more. None of these would cost huge amounts of money in terms of the overall Government budget, but they could make a real difference locally. ”

The issues Cllr Swift is asking the scrutiny panel to raise are:-

  1. Changes to the Bellwin formula, which offers help with emergency costs for Councils, so they are more transparent and include more of the costs of recovery (Calderdale received less than £100,000 in funding under the Bellwin formula, despite the hug impact of the 2012 flooding)
  2. Urgent action on household insurance, to reach a new deal with insurers toguarantee access to home insurance for people affected by high risks of flooding ;
  3. Avoiding including the levy that pays for some flood and drainage work within any cap on council tax rises (as otherwise additional funding for flood defences will mean cuts in other areas); and
  4. A sympathetic review of the current rules on funding for flood defences, so that there is a higher level of central government contribution to schemes in small towns like Mytholmoryd, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

Previously, on the HebWeb

HebWeb News: The July Floods - photos, links and info

HebWeb News: The June Floods - photos, links and info

HebWeb Forum - Calder Valley floods: helping the victims

HebWeb Forum - Floods: the politics

ITV Clip - Macpelah

YouTube video clip of the Keighley Road river

Mail Online - Town that won't stop flooding: Hebden Bridge cleans up for the third time in three weeks - and faces another soaking (11 July)