Business rate relief for Calder Valley flood victims

Business meeting to discuss flood defences and how the authorities can help local traders at Waterfront Hall, Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Business meeting to discuss flood defences and how the authorities can help local traders at Waterfront Hall, Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

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BUSINESSES forced to close as a result of the floods will get a break from paying rates for three months or more, a meeting was told.

“And shops that are still open but can demonstrate hardship as a result of the floods will also be given respite,” said Calderdale Council’s economy and environment spokesman, Coun Barry Collins.

His comments came at a packed meeting in Hebden Bridge Town Hall arranged by the town’s business association.

He said urgent work had to be undertaken to solve drainage issues in the Calder Valley and that the council would tackle the issue in the next few months.

Localised sandbag collection points are due to be set up.

The meeting was told that the council had increased its relief fund for flood victims by £250,000 and was lobbying the Government and the Regional Flood Defence Authority to invest more.

“We have to find a way to solve the problems of the community, rather than trying to say we have all the answers.” said Coun Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).

Other issues raised at the meeting were parking in Hebden Bridge, management of rivers and moors, the best way to promote the Calder Valley, issues regarding home and business insurance and community flood defence planning.