More than £8 million has helped Calderdale residents affected by 2015 floods

Mytholmroyd, like many parts of the Calder Valley, was hit badly during the 2015 Boxing Day floods
Mytholmroyd, like many parts of the Calder Valley, was hit badly during the 2015 Boxing Day floods

More than 2,000 people and businesses hit by the Boxing Day 2015 floods in Calderdale have been helped to protect their properties with grants totalling more than £8 million.

Reporting to Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Programme Board, which met at the Shay Stadium, Halifax, the Community Resilience Operational Group said the flood grant programme for households had seen £6.06 million awarded in flood grants.

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Having received more than 1,600 applications, resilience work had now been fully completed on 1,347 homes with an average grant of £4,500 per property.

Completed at end of March, the scheme is considered to have been highly successful.

In terms of businesses, 588 grants, totalling £2,651,706.04, have been paid and, having received 669 applications in total, all funding was now paid out with final administartion work to be completed followed by an evaluation report on how successful it has been later this year with a target date of September 30.

This will include lessons learned and recommendations for the future, said author of the report, Environment Agency flood warden Katie Kimber.

The community resilience team also administers business enhancement grants which aim to assist flooded businesses who have plans for expansion and growth and are funded through the council’s £3m Flood Recovery fund.

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Fifty applications have been received with 25 approved totalling £218,483, of which £132,483 has been paid out so far and there will be an evaluation report produced once the scheme is closed in 2019.

Among resilience operational group actions just one is rated red, with action being taken to improve communications with transport operators enabling them to better plan adjustments to their services and issue travel warnings as situations arise.

Its most significant current risk is that it might be missing the opportunity to improve situations because of deadline pressure for reporting. Any delays put strain on the process and allow little time for secondary before meeting deadlines, says the report.

The most significant current issue is the need to continue to build upon the improving co-operation between various flood groups and groups of wardens to maximise the benefit to the community.

In particular the group needs to need to improve engagement with the smaller groups in the lower Calder Valley.

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In terms of achievements, development of the flood groups and flood wardens remains highly satisfactory with, for example, six more wardens volunteering in Todmorden and flood stores fully stocked at Mytholmroyd, where wardens are also considering moving away from sand bags towards rubber blocks as protective measures.