The Calderdale Flood Commission will report its initial recommendations to Calderdale Council at a public meeting to be held at 6pm on Wednesday 27 April 2016 (today) at Halifax Town Hall.
The Flood Commission was announced by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet in response to the unprecedented flooding on Boxing Day 2015.
Chaired by Paul Cobbing, the Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum, membership of the Commission includes seven Councillors, representing each of the three main political parties in Calderdale.
The Commission is considering the causes, the impact and response to the flooding across Calderdale and has heard evidence from local businesses, communities and partners, including the Police, Northern Powergrid (www.northernpowergrid.com(external link)), Environment Agency, Canal and River Trust and Yorkshire Water.
Commission members have listened to evidence during six public meetings, held across the Calder Valley. Local community groups and forums were also encouraged to provide their views on flooding.
One meeting of the Flood Commission was held in Westminster with Rory Stewart MP, a Minister from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and government officials from both Defra and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Independent Chair of the Flood Commission, Paul Cobbing said:
“When the Flood Commission was set up we agreed to share our initial recommendations to the Council within three months, so that any urgent actions could be implemented immediately and these are outlined in our report.
“There is still further work to be done. We’ve identified a number of critical issues which we need to examine in greater detail, including health, transport and the impact of climate change.”
The Flood Commission has produced nine recommendations for immediate action, which will be implemented in advance of the final report if agreed by the Council tonight:
– A review of the warning system which alerts residents and businesses to potential flooding incidents, including escalation levels and the type of alerts given.
– Recruit more flood wardens and continue with the roll out of flood groups. through the Calder Valley, including Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse and Elland.
– A review of the emergency command structure to ensure that it meets current needs and that the Flood Wardens are informed how this will work locally.
– A flood emergency practice day will be held annually in each locality.
– The water companies will be encouraged to manage the reservoir levels to help with flood alleviation
– Encourage people living in high risk areas to prepare personal emergency plans, to have flood boxes and to remove all important items to a safe place.
– Distribute a laminated card with vital information, contact numbers, key locations for community hubs and emergency flood stores etc to all homes in flood risk areas.
– Review the flood hubs and containers to make sure they are in the right location and are properly equipped.
– A full and final report by the Flood Commission will be presented at a meeting of Council on 20 July 2016.
If you would like your views to be considered email: FloodCommission@calderdale.gov.uk or follow the Commission on twitter @FloodCommission.