Councils have been left counting the cost of the recent storm conditions experienced across Wales, which are estimated to have caused several million pounds worth of damage.
While rough seas and poor weather conditions continue to hamper a full evaluation of the devastation caused by strong winds and high tides, the final repair bill is expected to place significant financial pressure on already stretched council finances.
Commenting on the recent storms, Cllr Neil Rogers (Wrexham), WLGA Spokesperson for the Environment said:
“The recent extreme weather conditions experienced in Wales have been a stark reminder of just how formidable nature can be, and local councils and their partners have been stretched to the limit in trying to limit its impact on local communities. Councils work all year round to ensure emergency plans are in place to cope with extreme weather conditions, and they have moved swiftly in recent weeks to put these plans into action.
“Council teams right across Wales have been working around-the-clock in extremely severe weather conditions since last week, and they continue to work tirelessly alongside the emergency services and Natural Resources Wales to help protect their local communities during this prolonged period of stormy weather. People should continue to monitor weather conditions in their local area closely to ensure they remain safe.”
Cllr Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taff), WLGA Deputy Spokesperson for the Environment added:
“The priority during such extreme weather events will always be the safety of local residents and property, but as these storm conditions subside it is quickly becoming apparent that they have left a significant repair bill in their wake. High winds and high tides have decimated large swathes of our coastal defences, have wreaked havoc with local highway networks and other public buildings, and the full cost of repairing this damage is expected to run into millions of pounds.
“While councils do everything they can to maintain emergency budgets, this repair bill represents a sum of money that local councils simply do not have at their disposal, and local councils and the Welsh Government will now have to work closely together to ensure that the significant costs associated with such an extensive clean-up operation can be met. We must avoid a situation where local services are made to suffer because local councils have been forced to ‘raid’ other departmental budgets to help cover the cost of the extensive repairs that are now required.”