'Are you serious?': Calderdale public responds to flood victims being unable to claim for damages

Victims of this month's floods looking for vital funds from a resilience grant scheme will be unable to claim again.

Thursday, 27th February 2020, 11:02 am
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 11:03 am

It comes after the newly-appointed Environment Secretary George Eustice said the Government insisted victims hit by the 2015, as well as 2020's floods, should already be prepared for future disasters.

Large parts of England were swamped in 2015, including the Calder Valley which has once again been hit by Storms Ciara and Dennis during the past month.

Environment Secretary George Eustice told the House of Commons those who claimed up to £5,000 five years ago “have already invested to make their homes more resilient”.

One of many homes in Mytholmroyd devastated by the floods after Storm Ciara

Keith Clarke said: "They should withhold foreign aid and use it for flood relief; charity begins at home."

Michael Hewitt said: "Are you serious? What a silly thing to say."

Peter Hepworth said: "Its scandalous. Politicians are out of touch whoever is in power."

Holly Lynch, Labour MP for Halifax, said: "The Secretary of State [George Eustice] said it in an urgent flooding statement on Monday.

A row of homes in Mytholmroyd devastated by the flood

"His logic is if you had a resilience grant in 2015, you should already be resilient.

"Most of the people who flooded recently also flooded in 2015.

"They may have had their plug sockets moved half way up after 2015 and can recover faster.

"But to think they won't require support to recover again, that they don't incur costs for cleaning, hiring pumps and dehumidifiers as part of their resilience efforts, or that resilience measures which are available now might not have been in 2015, [it] shows a complete lack of understanding of what we need in Calderdale. Nightmare."

David Adams, 65, who owns Mytholmroyd-based David Paul barbers, was hit hard by the recent floods after Storm Ciara

A spokeswoman from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), said: "Property Level Flood Resilience (PFR) refers to measures that can be put in a property to help manage the impact that flooding has on homes and businesses.

"PFR aims to help reduce the risk of flooding in future and/or reduce the impact to enable people to get back into their homes or business premises quicker after a flood.

"This grant is to fund the additional cost over standard property repair costs, of using materials that are more resistant or resilient to damage by floodwater, or rearranging utilities and layout within the property, to speed recovery from any future flood event.

"Properties that received a PFR grant following previous flooding (such as in 2015) will not be eligible for another PFR grant, as those properties will already have these measures installed."

Holly Lynch MP for Halifax and Sowerby Bridge
George Eustice Minister for Environment