Prime Minister challenged on flood relief funding for Calderdale
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Labour council leader Tim Swift has written to the Prime Minister asking for a fair flood relief funding deal for Calderdale. The call comes after the Government announced raft of financial support for flood-hit communities in the south and south west, which was not made available to the 900 properties affected by flooding in Calderdale in 2012.
In his letter, Cllr Swift says: "I understand that the scale and scope of the current flooding in the South and South West has led to huge media attention and public pressure, and Calderdale residents will have every sympathy with those now struggling with the kind of issues that we experience in 2012 and 2013.
"None the less, we are deeply disappointed and let down that we did not receive the same scale of support that is now being offered elsewhere – especially given the uneven distribution of reductions in Government spending which means that Calderdale has faced much larger cuts in our spending power than many councils in the South and South West.
If there is to be government assistance to people and communities affected by flooding, then surely this should be on a consistent and understood basis? I am therefore writing to request that even at this late stage, you consider extending the grant offer and changes to Bellwin which have now been announced and applying them retrospectively to areas such as Calderdale who were so badly affected in 201
Commenting on the issue, Cllr Swift added,"There have been announcements from the Government over the last few days of changes to the Bellwin formula, so that more of the essential spending on recovering from the floods will be funded by the Government. They have also announced proposals for grants to homes and businesses, to enable them to insure additional flood resilience measures in the future.
"These are issues that we raised with Government in 2012. We think they are the right actions for Government to take to support communities that have been affected by serious flooding events. But we do not think it is fair that we were refused this assistance in 2012 if it is now being offered in other areas. There is still time for the Government to put this right."
See HebWeb coverage of the floods in Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley