Calderdale pledges more resources after flood review

 

A floods commission established by Calderdale Council after last winter's storms has called for 'significant' extra investment, warning that current funding levels 'will inevitably be insufficient'.

Councillors in Calderdale accepted the recommendations of the Calderdale Flood Commission of at a full meeting of the council.

The report argues: ‘There needs to be significant investment in flood risk management in Calderdale. The current increased level of funding is welcomed but must be seen as only a first step.

‘We don’t know yet what the true overall costs will be, but require commitment from funders to meet the needs as they emerge. This investment is likely to be necessary for a number of years.’

”Local
Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale on Boxing Day 2015

The commission was chaired by Paul Cobbing, chief executive of the National Flood Forum, and included councillors from the three main political parties.

The report also said Calderdale should ‘use planning in a strategic way to reduce flooding’, including making flooding and flood risk management a strategic priority with its Local Plan.

It said: ‘It should be clear how it fits into core and thematic policies and clearly reference the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and other key documents.’

Calderdale Council only launched its Local Flood Risk Management Strategy in draft form last month.

In a report in June, the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs raised concerns over Government monitoring of whether councils had finalised their strategies.

The commission also identified measures that needed to be taken by national Government and other organisations in order for its recommendations for Calderdale to be carried out effectively.

These included reviewing and strengthening guidance on the roles of lead local flood authorities and on Local Flood Risk Management Strategies and reviewing how flood warnings are delivered and how they can be made more effective.

An environment department spokesperson said: ’We are committed to helping communities get back on their feet after last winter’s devastating floods. We are investing £52m in flood protection for communities in the Calder Valley and we will publish the Calderdale Catchment Plan outlining future defences later this year.’

 

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