The Leader of Calderdale Council has welcomed today’s budget announcement of further funding for flood defence schemes across the North of England.
In his budget speech today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer committed the Government to increase maintenance expenditure in England by £40 million per year and an investment of over £150 million to deliver further flood defence schemes in the Calder Valley, Leeds, York, Carlisle and Cumbria.
A further £130 million will be spent repairing roads and bridges in West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and Durham, damaged by Storms Desmond and Eva in December 2015.
It is also understood that the funding will allow the repairs to Scout Road and the A646 in Mytholmroyd to be completed.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Swift said:
“Since the Boxing Day floods we have been pressing the Government to provide a clear commitment to the region by providing us with new flood related investment to help us develop new flood defence schemes and repair our damaged road network.
“Whilst we welcome today’s announcement by the Chancellor, the devil will be in the detail, and we eagerly await further statements on the specific funding for Calderdale and the timescales involved.
“It will only then become apparent whether there is a genuine will to repair the road links and strengthen the flood defences across Calderdale and West Yorkshire which are so vital to the recovery of our local economy.”
Storm Eva had a devastating impact on West Yorkshire’s roads, and the repair bill to restore all the affected roads and bridges is in excess of £43 million.
Calderdale Council has been leading the discussion with the Department for Transport, on behalf of West Yorkshire, on the cost of the repairs which are required to restore critical infrastructure. To date this includes £32.5 million in Calderdale, £8.6 million in Leeds and £2.7 million in Bradford.