Labour Leads Action on Floods

Posted by Jonathan Timbers ( on June 23, 2000 at 22:46:58:

Chris MCCafferty MP is taking the leading role in improving the flood early warning system in the Calder Valley and has already demanded answers from the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

It was as a result of her action that the meeting to discuss the flooding was held in Todmorden Town Hall on Monday June 19th.

Thanks to pressure from Chris, Elliot Morley, the minister with responsibility for dealing with flooding, has made a statement to the House and he is aware that the early warning system is inadequate.

Currently, it measures the rise in the water levels. However, when there is a flood the water breaks the banks of the river; it does not rise, it spreads.

Consequently, the alarm in Mytholmroyd had to be operated manually by the Fire Brigade. The Police identified total flooding by 11 PM but, as many of you will no doubt be only too aware, the flood alert did not sound till 12.50 AM. Residents whose houses were inundated received an automated telephone warning at 2 AM - to add insult to injury!

Calderdale Councillors such as Jane Brown should be telling her Liberal Democrat partners in Todmorden to get a depot with sandbags re-instated. The nearest depot to Tod was in Mytholmroyd and the emergency services found it difficult to reach beacuse, of course, the main road was flooded.

Chris will continue to take the lead on this issue when the preliminary report is issued in July and the final report (hopefully) is published in October with plans for a fully comprehensive new flood defence system from Walsden to Brighouse.

The local Labour Party and trade unions are continuing to gather information for Chris who, of course, is continuing her work with those individuals affected.

If you have information or ideas which could be of use, or need support in dealing with the consequences of the flood, her office can be contacted at normal office hours on 01422 843713.