Protest group set to march on Downing Street

Petition for flood prevention measures in the Calder Valley.'On the Caldene bridge, Mytholmroyd, from the left, Barry Greenwood, Susan Quick, Tony McGovern, Nathan Martin and Leonard Barritt.
Petition for flood prevention measures in the Calder Valley.'On the Caldene bridge, Mytholmroyd, from the left, Barry Greenwood, Susan Quick, Tony McGovern, Nathan Martin and Leonard Barritt.

Determined protestors will march on 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, June 19, demanding that improvements are made to flood defences in the upper Calder Valley.

Barry Greenwood and Nathan Martin, from The Upper Calder Valley Flood Prevention Action Group (UCVFPAG), hope to hand their petition, which has been signed by over 2,500 people, to Prime Minister David Cameron directly.

Mr Greenwood, who lives in Hebden Bridge, said: “We could be walking on egg shells for the next 18 months. I want action now.

“Calderdale Council has said it will cost £42 million over the next 10 years to improve our defences, but it doesn’t need £42 million. It needs a cleanup of the drains, river beds, streams, gullies and surface water systems.

“The people who live, work and visit the area have signed this petition in the hope that common sense will prevail and that funds will be made immediately available to carry out the work that is essential in reducing future flood risk in the valley.

“When I go down to Downing Street the petitions are going to be handed in to the Prime Minister and I would like an audience with David Cameron to put things into perspective.”

When they go down to London, Mr Greenwood and Mr Martin are also set to present the Prime Minister with the results of a river survey carried out in October/November 2012 by a chartered engineer, which they commissioned.

In the covering letter of the petition, Mr Greenwood also questions whether the Environment Agency is the correct authority to be handling river maintainance.

But an Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Since last year’s floods, £3 million has been spent to repair damage and restore the defences to the condition they were in prior to the event. We’re also modelling the entire River Calder to establish weak points and see where further work needs to take place.

“The results of the modelling are expected soon and will then be analysed by Environment Agency engineers.”

Mr Greenwood said that he will be visiting Hebden Bridge, Luddenden Foot, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden to collect any remaining petitions.