Valley floods: prevention work goes on

Floodwaters surrounds shops in the centre of Mytholmroyd.
Floodwaters surrounds shops in the centre of Mytholmroyd.

The Environment Agency is still working on nearly 100 separate measures, mostly involving drainage work, which it believes will help prevent further serious flooding in the Upper Calder Valley this autumn.

It hopes to have three-quarters of the work completed by the end of September, according to a report to the council’s economy and environment panel.

The time constraint is important because it could affect the likelihood of attracting Government money to help pay for the measures, under the Bellwin Scheme.

Calderdale Council has set aside more than £200,000 to help businesses recover from the floods which affected Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge on June 22 when more than a month’s rain fell in 24 hours.

A few weeks later, serious flash flooding occurred in the Hebden Bridge area.

The council estimated that 250 businesses were affected and about half have applied for and have received financial assistance.

Most of this has gone towards flood prevention work to premises.

The panel was told that there is concern about footfall for businesses, particularly in Hebden Bridge, as it is more reliant on tourism.

About a quarter of the shops there are still not trading and as well as organising special events consideration is being given to a business rates holiday of up to three months.

The council’s economy and environment spokesman Coun Barry Collins said the authority was still doing all it could to help the area recover.

Further assistance is available on 01422 392269.

The Community Foundation for Calderdale is to hold funding and development workshops, in partnership with Voluntary Action Calderdale and Calderdale Council, for voluntary and community groups.
People will be shown how to apply online and be encouraged raise issues of concern.
The workshops begin on September 25, at King Cross Fire Station, from 1pm to 4.30pm; on Thursday,September 27, at Todmorden Town Hall from 3pm to 6pm; on Thursday, October 4, at Forest Cottage, Ovenden, from 1pm to 4pm; on Monday, October 29, at The 6th Form Centre, Brighouse High School, from 6pm to 8.30pm and on Tuesday, October 30, at Willow Court, Elland, from 6pm.