Halifax MP meets Environment Secretary to secure flood funds for ALL affected

Halifax MP Holly Lynch met with the Environment Secretary to force a rethink on the decision to stop flood victims claiming for damages.

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 2:10 pm
Holly Lynch, MP for Halifax

Victims of February's floods looking for vital funds from a resilience grant scheme have been told by Environment Secretary George Eustice they will be unable to claim if they previously received a grant during the infamous Boxing Day 2015.

Ms Lynch met with the Secretary of State for DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) yesterday and presented a petition in the chamber, which has been signed by homeowners and businesses across Calderdale who were financial hit by the recent floods.

On Twitter, Ms Lynch said: "He reaffirmed that there would be a Yorkshire Flood Summit and listened as I was very clear about what we need, but couldn’t offer any firm commitments."

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Mr Eustice recently told the House of Commons those who claimed up to £5,000 five years ago “have already invested to make their homes more resilient”.

"His logic is if you had a resilience grant in 2015, you should already be resilient," said Ms Lynch.

"Most of the people who flooded recently also flooded in 2015.

"They may have had their plug sockets moved half way up after 2015 and can recover faster.

"But to think they won't require support to recover again, that they don't incur costs for cleaning, hiring pumps and dehumidifiers as part of their resilience efforts, or that resilience measures which are available now might not have been in 2015, [it] shows a complete lack of understanding of what we need in Calderdale. Nightmare."

A spokeswoman from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), said: "Property Level Flood Resilience (PFR) refers to measures that can be put in a property to help manage the impact that flooding has on homes and businesses.

"PFR aims to help reduce the risk of flooding in future and/or reduce the impact to enable people to get back into their homes or business premises quicker after a flood.

"This grant is to fund the additional cost over standard property repair costs, of using materials that are more resistant or resilient to damage by floodwater, or rearranging utilities and layout within the property, to speed recovery from any future flood event.

"Properties that received a PFR grant following previous flooding (such as in 2015) will not be eligible for another PFR grant, as those properties will already have these measures installed."

The petition can be found here: Funding for Calderdale’s Flood Recovery