Councillor says floods have felt 'biblical' as more Calder Valley businesses suffer
A Calderdale councillor said the recent flooding to the Calder Valley has felt biblical.
Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, has spoke of his concerns about the region's economy after a third major flood in over seven years devastated towns and villages across the area.
Coun Patient, who also lives in flood-stricken Mytholmroyd, is now urging the government to put the upper Calder Valley on tier-one priority for adequate funding to deal with the high possibility of future flooding.
He said: "The situation has felt biblical.
"We need to be a tier-one priority during the next government spending budget because people are going to leave the area, and there will be nowhere to educate children.
"The reason why this is happening is because of climate change and until people make the link, this is just going to keep happening.
"Our current government has been the weakest so far on tackling climate change."
The areas affected include Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Elland, Sowerby Bridge, and Brighouse.
Landlady of Hebden Bridge’s the White Swan Elizabeth Anne-Wood, said: “I’ve been running the pub for 45 years and it’s scary to think this is the third flood since 2012.
“I lost £20,000 during the last flood in 2015 and we were shut for 11 months.
"The town has been struggling in the past few years and then we're hit with another flood.
"I was in the pub on Sunday during the floods and the water crashed down the backdoor, I thought it was an armed robbery.
"I'm disabled and was saved by flood wardens.
"I'd like to thank the community and its volunteers who have helped me clean up my pub.
"For me, I feel so sorry for the people of Mytholmroyd - I'd be heartbroken if I lived there."
Remzi Sasma owner of Rendezvous bistro in Hebden Bridge, said: “I’m shocked because it feels like the government don’t care about us.
“I employ four staff who need a wage, I bought £2,000 worth of stock last week which is now runied, and I’ll have to throw away my industrial £6,000 fridge.
“I’m really fed up especially after the lack of lessons learned from 2015.”
Calder councillor Josh Fenton-Glynn, who spoke at the Hebden Bridge Town Hall flood hub, said: “We’re helping businesses and the public who are without power, drinks and food.
“In my view, the flood defences weren’t ready yet and this is an unfortunate circumstance.
“I’m the Chair for the Flooding Scrutiny Panel for Calder Valley and I’ll be asking some big questions on how ready we were for this flood.”
"Unfortunately, these situations don't hit home until it affects you directly," said Coun Patient.
"This has happened all across the Calderdale catchment.
"If it this flood doesn't make the government listen there will be serious questions to ask."