Anger at flood defence fund ‘delay’for Valley

Coun Barry Collins
Coun Barry Collins

A Calderdale councillor has slammed the Government for ignoring the flood-hit residents of the upper Calder Valley.

The comments from Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, come in the wake of a Government announcement that it will review its flood relief fund following a question raised in Parliament by Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Whittaker asked Deputy PM Nick Clegg whether £5,000 flood defence grants made available to victims of the recent floods in the south would be extended for Calder Valley residents.

Mr Whittaker said: “During the recent floods, the Prime Minister rightly announced grants of £5,000 for people in the homes flooded to put in flood defence measures.

“The Deputy Prime Minister can therefore imagine the disappointment of people from the 1,000 homes in Calder Valley who were flooded only 18 months previously but got no such support.

“Will he agree to look at this policy to see whether the same grants can be made available to those people in Calder Valley who were flooded as well?”

And Mr Clegg replied: “Of course I will. As we adapt to this new, very difficult reality, we must make sure that we build up resilience in all parts of the country and provide assistance as fully and consistently as we can across the country.”

However Coun Collins questioned why the funds weren’t made available in 2012 and hopes further financial support for the whole of Calderdale will be made available.

Mr Collins said: “Why did it take the floods down south to remind the Government about what happened to hundreds and hundreds of flood-stricken families and businesses in the Calder Valley in 2012? Hopefully now we’ll see some real money at last - not just for householders but also to help Calderdale meet the estimated £40 million cost of keeping our local communities safe from floods in the years to come.”