Calder Valley MP calls for flood meeting with PM

Craig Whittaker Conservative PPC for Calder Valley.
Craig Whittaker Conservative PPC for Calder Valley.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker as called for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the state of the towns following the floods.

Mr Whittaker raised the point at Prime Minister Questions on Wednesday and said: “Whilst the floods over Christmas were bad for many areas in the north of England and Scotland, Calder Valley residents were hit the hardest.

“Two-thousand-one-hundred homes and 1,300 businesses flooded, three bridges lost, four schools either flooded or part flooded and an old tip with asbestos that has slid keeping out a further 20 families from their homes.”

Mr Whittaker then asked Mr Cameron if he would agree to meet with me to discuss how they can help with the £20m infrastructure damage and the shortfall in future flood defence schemes.

Calderdale Council has revealed the extent of the damage to borough will cost at least £20m. This figure does not include Environment Agency costs.

Mr Cameron responded and said his sympathises go out to those people and businesses who have been flooded in Mr Whittaker’s constituency.

“We will do everything we can to help communities get back on their feet.

“There’s the very large flood investment programme and that’s in place. There’s also the maintenance programme which has been protected in real terms but there’s a number of other infrastructure pieces of work that need to be done.

“I would commend the Highways Agency. They’ve been very quick to examine roads and in some cases actually take over the repairs to local authority roads because they’ve got the capacity to act and act quickly and that’s what we need to do in these situations.

“As I said last week I think this time the army was in faster, the money was distributed faster, the EA worked even harder and even more around the clock but there are always lessons to leran to demonstrate we want to get these communities back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

Mr Whittaker MP has aso organised public meetings where the Environment Agency will update residents on future flood prevention schemes and take questions from the public following the devastating flooding in the Calder Valley on Boxing Day.