Flooding inquiry calls for a '˜public emergency' telephone number

A SINGLE telephone number for the public to use during an emergency is among the ideas to be put forward by councillors following the floods which hit Calderdale last winter.

Tuesday, 20th September 2016, 8:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:05 pm
Boxing day flood in Hebden Bridge. Lloyds Bank an island in Albert Street.

An inquiry into the floods found there was confusion over who residents and businesses should ask for help.

There was also “confusion within agencies themselves as to whether something was their responsibility or not”, councillors found.

The single phone number is one of a series of recommendations to emerge from an inquiry by members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s overview and scrutiny committee.

Their report also calls for talks with the insurance industry to try and streamline the process faced by residents and businesses as they try and claim for losses after floods.

The report says: “The economic cost and commercial impact on industry and tourism were significant and much greater than anticipated, with the after effects and economic impacts continuing to be felt today.”

The committee recommends more detailed work is done to understand the economic impact of the floods to help make the case for increased investment by the Government on defences.

Its report praises the work of utility companies in the aftermath of the floods and suggests more should be done to look at how their support can be used in emergencies.

In common with other reports published following the floods, it calls for a “whole catchment” approach to reduce the risk of flooding which includes issues such as land management as well as the building of new flood defence schemes.