Calderdale Council demands answers from Chancellor over flood funding

Concillor Tim Swift outside Halifax Town Hall.

Concillor Tim Swift outside Halifax Town Hall.

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The Leader of Calderdale Council is calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to confirm what funding will be available to restore flood damaged infrastructure to the region during his budget speech on March 16.

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 is leading the discussion with the Department for Transport, on behalf of the region, 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.

Councillor Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council said: “We, as a Council, are continuing to use our own resources to help restore our local infrastructure and make sure that we are resilient before next winter. The task is great. Three of our bridges collapsed, three footbridges were swept away, key roads within our area have cracked and require immediate repair and we have experienced several landslides.

“The costs of repair are too great for the Council to shoulder the burden alone and it is essential that we can have certainty from the government that we will receive the £27 million needed for the most critical repair work.

“It’s now two months since the government awarded us £5.5 million for Elland Bridge and this has ensured temporary links to this major community have been restored.

“Any further delay to a funding announcement, which will allow us to rebuild our collapsed network of bridges and roads, risks continued and more costly damage. It will also begin to hamper the recovery which we are now seeing in the Upper Valley, where our communities are beginning to re-open shops and businesses.

“We urgently need more certainty as the repair and reconstruction is essential in restoring vital links across Calderdale and other regionally significant connections, such as Linton Bridge in Leeds.

“We have written to the Chancellor, George Osborne and the Yorkshire Flooding Envoy Robert Goodwill MP, asking them to confirm that the repair and recovery of the critical infrastructure across West Yorkshire is a priority and requesting a clear and unequivocal commitment to further funding for the region in next week’s budget.”

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