On the road to recovery as flood projects due to start

Hadley Pollard at Bailey's Gym, Walsden
Hadley Pollard at Bailey's Gym, Walsden

Businesses and residents are continuing on the road to recovery a month after flash flooding hit parts of Todmorden and Walsden.

Many have faced major disruption as refurbishment projects are carried out at their homes and offices.

This week the Environment Agency confirmed it has finished its initial investigations into what happened on the evening of July 29.

And Calderdale Council has announced that a £3m programme to reduce the impact of flooding will begin in the autumn.

Council leader Tim Swift said: “When flash flooding hit Walsden and Todmorden on July 29 the council, the community and other organisations all worked hard on the clean-up and supported the residents and businesses affected.

“We’re continuing to work with the Environment Agency and utility companies on our investigative work on the culverts in Kershaw Road and Clough Road.

“We’re studying the catchment to find out how much water flows through the local culverted streams. When we have the results of the study this will help us decide how to prevent further flooding in the future.

“We will discuss our findings and plans with local residents and recommended a solution to the council’s cabinet.

“Although Clough Road isn’t an adopted highway, we cleared away uplifted tarmac and brought in stone to give temporary access from the railway along Clough Road to Kershaw Road.

“We are working with the Environment Agency to carry out minor works to improve flood defences in more than 20 targeted locations, including Todmorden and Walsden.

“We’re also continuing to support the local community flood groups to help people prepare for future flooding.

“We are allocating £50,000 to the groups from our Defra funding, and one of the ways they’re planning to use this is to set up flood stores – facilities in residential areas where people would be able to quickly access clean-up equipment during a flood.”

Hadley Pollard was particularly badly affected by the flooding as both his Walsden home and his Bailey’s Gym business were damaged.

He and his family had to move and live out of suitcases in hotels for several weeks.

But things are starting to look up and he hopes they will be back to normal soon.

“It’s been horrible really, having to deal with the stress of refurbishing our house and sorting out the business,” he said.

“Luckily I’m one of those people who is able to shrug things off sometimes and just carry on and knuckle down.

“Otherwise things would get on top of you.”

The gym has managed to stay open despite the ongoing refurbishment project, with classes running as normal.

“We’re very grateful to our customers for sticking with us during this difficult time,” he said.