Council prepares to dig deeper after flood repair bill tops £1m

Floodwaters surrounds local shops in the centre of Mytholmroyd near Huddersfield last June.
Floodwaters surrounds local shops in the centre of Mytholmroyd near Huddersfield last June.
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A COUNCIL has spent just over £1m repairing damage caused by summer flooding, with another £440,000 of work in the pipeline.

Calderdale Council yesterday released details of the mounting bills but said the final cost is likely to be “much higher” than the £1.6m of works identified so far.

The total flood recovery cost to the council is estimated at £2.6m. A Government fund contributed only £76,668.

The authority estimated the total cost of repairs in the Upper Calder Valley will top £3m but this takes into account spending by the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and the Canal & River Trust.

Councillor Barry Collins, council member with responsibility for the environment, said: “The events of last summer were unprecedented, with major floods in close proximity to each other.

“And the lesson for all of us is absolutely clear. We must increase our resilience to such wild weather, both individually and as a community, because we’re likely to see more of it in the future.”

Experts are trying to understand how to alleviate future floods in the valley.

Adam Tunningley, of the Environment Agency, said: “Following the widespread and repeated flooding in the Upper Calder Valley this year, we have already made repairs in a number of areas and have brought in extra resources to work alongside those of the local authority to undertake an extensive survey of the entire River Calder.

“We are also investigating the interaction of floodwaters between the River Calder and canal network to better understand the sources of flooding and identify potential alleviation measures.

“In addition, we are using data provided by Yorkshire Water to review surface water flood risk.

Mr Tunningley added: “This work will help us to identify 
potential schemes to alleviate some of the flooding issues experienced in the summer and will also enable us to draw up options for larger, more comprehensive flood alleviation measures in the medium to long term which would be subject to available funding.”

Yorkshire Water said over 250 projects had been completed in Calderdale since the summer floods. Tens of thousands of pounds has been spent removing sediment from sewers in the Calder Valley and the bill is rising.

David Baldacchino, of the Canal & River Trust, said: “The trust has spent almost £300,000 to repair the canal following the summer’s severe weather which caused significant damage to the wash walls and towpath along the Rochdale Canal.”

Some of the Environment Agency’s costs include £80,000 on a collapsed wall at Walsden; £44,000 removing gravel at Walsden Water; £85,000 on a collapsed culvert at Pudsey Beck, Cornholme; £35,000 on gravel removal at Jumble Hole Clough, Charlestown; and £37,500 on a collapsed wall at King Street, Mytholmroyd.

The council’s works include £53,500 repairing road damage at Park Lane, Mytholmroyd; £50,500 on road repairs at New Road, Erringden; £40,00 on culvert renewal at Lane Ends Lane, Wadsworth; and £51,300 on road repairs at Bacup Road, Todmorden.

Last night a string of flood warnings were again issued for parts of the UK. The Environment Agency said swathes of southern and south-west England, south-east Wales and the Midlands should prepare for flooding.

A grant of £25,000 from Ham-bleton District Council has been awarded to a defence scheme drawn up by businesses on an industrial estate at Dalton, near Thirsk, amid concerns that flooding problems are undermining the site where 950 workers are employed at 17 businesses. The cash will be used to finance a new exit road.