Funds for flood defences
CASH WILL SEE 17 VITAL SCHEMES GET UNDER WAY IN CALDERDALE INCLUDING 142 ‘LEAKY DAMS’
A FIRST round of funding for natural flood management projects in Calderdale will see 17 schemes totalling almost £280,000 get under way from this winter.
A good uptake from landowners applying to use grants to make improvements shows an appetite for such schemes.
This first round will see 15,775 square metres of storage pond space dug out, 2,800 trees planted, 142 “leaky dams” constructed, 105 metres of fascines created and 728 metres of hedges planted or restored.
With many schemes taking place on the upland, Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resil- ience Board, which discussed progress, heard these projects complement traditional hard engineering techniques to provide another, natural, element to flood defences.
Calderdale flood programme manager Neil Fearnley said a second round had also proved a resounding success with a further £200,000 being made available.
Meanwhile the importance of flood resilience is being given a higher regional profile by Calderdale councillors.
Reporting to Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Programme Board, Calderdale councillor Barry Collins said the council’s representatives on the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee were working hard to push resilience up the agenda.
Because of the flooding of 2015, there had been such an emphasis on water courses and what they hold from officers up and down the country, he said.
“Not enough attention has been paid to surface water flooding, and that is so important to people,” said Clr Collins.
Discussions included maintenance machinery and use of new technology to combat flooding risk.
Some issues which had arisen, for example at Castleford and Pontefract, had been waiting two or three years for attention because there was not enough money to deal with problems.
“It just won’t do. We have done a lot of work in Calderdale on these issues. I’m not saying we’re perfect, but we have,” said Clr Collins.
Brighouse under water after the Boxing Day floods in 2015Local Democracy Reporter