Funds for flood de­fences


Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - News - By JOHN GREEN­WOOD @JohnG_LDR

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

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