‘Flood-hit firms need more insurance help’

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LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the Government to help Calderdale businesses secure affordable insurance following last winter’s floods.

Mr Corbyn urged ministers and the insurance industry to work together to extend an existing scheme covering homes, known as Flood Re, to cover industry.

He claimed the area was continuing to pay the price for cuts to flood defence budgets inflicted the the Coalition government.

The Labour leader was speaking after joining Halifax MP Holly Lynch visiting Abram Pulman & Sons, in Sowerby Bridge, yesterday which was devastated in last year’s Boxing Day floods.

The company spent weeks cleaning up after the floods and only returned to full capacity in the summer.

It now faces a battle to secure comprehensive insurance cover at a cost that is realistic to the business.

Mr Corbyn told the Halifax Courier: “This company employs 75 people, had a major flood disaster, lost all their business, only fully re-opened after eight or nine months, had to buy new trucks, new cutting equipment and everything else.

“Yes that was all covered by insurance but now they’ve got to get full insurance and they’ve got to spend a great deal of money on their own flood defences.

“Unless there is a back up scheme for companies in high flood areas we will see an economic risk because if companies cannot get insurance then they are hardly likely to invest in hundreds of thousands of pounds in new equipment.”

Mr Corbyn called for a “holistic approach” to reducing flood risk in areas like Calderdale through managing water in different ways upstream including allowing farmland to flood in addition to conventional defences.