Welsh Conservatives have welcomed the announcement of extra cash for Welsh flooding repairs – announced shortly before a Welsh Conservative debate on the impact of recent severe weather.
Two million pounds – confirmed yesterday – follows days of uncertainty.
While claiming there would be no ‘blank cheques’ for repair costs, the Minister had not previously specified exactly how much was available via a Welsh Government contingency fund, or exactly how and when local authorities could access the money.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Environment, Russell George AM, will lead today’s Welsh Parliament debate.
To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:
1. Notes the flooding and devastation of December 2013 and January 2014 which has affected people and communities throughout Wales.
2. Recognises the excellent work of the emergency services and organisations in providing support and relief to those communities.
3. Believes that the potential dual use of local renewable energy projects should be considered in providing further sea defences.
4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:
a) urgently review Technical Advice Note 15: Development and Flood Risk;
b) develop and re-launch the grant scheme piloted in 2010/11 to provide funding for those who are at greatest risk of flooding to make their homes more flood resilient; and
c) publish reports of the investigation of Natural Resources Wales into the recent flooding, once completed
Mr George said:
"We have long been calling for Labour ministers to use government reserves and clarify the money available to councils.
"I am pleased that Welsh Conservative pressure has prompted this announcement and I am heartened to see clarification on Labour government support for areas hit.
"While it is regretful that confirmation of financial support has taken so long, it is now essential that the Minister remains in contact with local authorities and does everything he can to further support them.
Mr George added:
"The recent floods laid bare weaknesses in Wales’ flood protection and while there are clear projects for Natural Resources Wales in improving defences, households and businesses should be able to access resources to protect their property.
"Flood risk management is not only about protecting people, homes and property, but about safeguarding jobs, business premises and maintaining economic growth.
"Welsh Labour Ministers must examine the conclusions of the Natural Resources Wales flooding investigation closely and consider what support can be offered to families and businesses to help prevent a repeat of this winter’s severe flooding."