Group gets plenty of support in its battle for improved flood defences

A DETERMINED campaigner has thanked residents and business owners for the support he has received in trying to improve the area’s flood defences.

The Upper Calder Valley Flood Prevention Action Group (UCVFPAG), led by Hebden Bridge resident Barry Greenwood, is calling on Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency to clear the area’s blocked drains and remove silt and vegetation from Hebden Water, the River Calder and the Rochdale Canal.

The group has been circulating a petition around businesses in Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Todmorden, Luddenden Foot and Cragg Vale and will take the document to Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street within a month.

Mr Greenwood said: “All the shop keepers, residents and everyone else we have talked to have been fully supportive of the petition.

“Everyone we have spoken to from Luddenden Foot to Todmorden understands how serious this issue is and wants it sorted.

“If this situation isn’t sorted out, we are going to have this same situation of horrendous flooding year after year.”

The petition, which Mr Greenwood said he will personally deliver to Number 10, calls for work on the area’s drains, rivers, ditches, dams and gullies to be carried out immediately.

They are available in businesses across the upper Calder Valley, including; McCall’s Supermarket in Luddenden Foot, The Robin Hood Pub in Cragg Vale, Sainsbury’s and PC Solutions in Mytholmroyd, Country Stores and The Co-op in Hebden Bridge, and Morrisons, Lidl and Jack’s House, Todmorden.

Mr Greenwood said: “There have been strong feelings that something has to be done to counteract the flooding and it has got to be done immediately.

“According to the Environment Agency, the type of rainfall we have experienced of late is going to be more like the norm and if that is the case the drains and rivers aren’t equipped to cope with the amount of rain we’re going to be getting.”

He said that if it was the wish of the general public, he would organise meetings in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd for people to have their voice heard before he marches on Downing Street.

“Once we have got all the petitions collected, if residents want to have meetings to discuss what’s going to happen next then I am happy to arrange them across the Valley,” said Mr Greenwood.

“This is an urgent issue and the sooner the work starts the better. That is why I want to present the petition to Mr Cameron in person.”

The petition can also be signed online at www.ucvfloodprevention.org.uk, where you can also leave comments and ideas.

For more information, or to join the UCVFPAG, email rbg1@talktalk.net or call Barry on 07845 125980.