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Floods management: Who's in charge?

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As the First Minister continues a trip to Uganda and the Natural Resources Minister visits Canada – and with the threat of more severe weather across Wales – Welsh Conservatives have questioned who is currently responsible for flood management in the country.

Carwyn Jones flew out to Africa for a planned trip as Aberystwyth and other coastal areas took the brunt of the weekend’s storms.

Following a brief visit to west Wales, Alun Davies also flew abroad. Yesterday, the Natural Resources Minister tweeted a photo of his visit to Canada.

Welsh Conservatives have already called for his remarks on emergency funding to be clarified. While claiming there will be no ‘blank cheques’ for repair costs, the Minister did not specify exactly how much is available via a Welsh Government contingency fund, or exactly how and when local authorities could access the money.

With more severe weather forecast today, and the threat of further flooding in Wales, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Environment Russell George AM has questioned who currently has ultimate responsibility for flood management in the Labour Cabinet.

Mr George will visit Aberystwyth tomorrow - Thursday January 9th - and meet Natural Resources Wales officials to discuss the unprecedented clean-up and repair operation (further details below).

He said:

“Wales has been hit by unprecedented storm damage and coastal flooding – with the threat of more to come – and Carwyn Jones and his environment minister remain abroad.

“Who’s in charge? Wales deserves to know.

“While these may have been planned trips, consideration of their reorganisation should surely have taken place.

“This is a situation that continues to require round-the-clock management within the Labour government and constant support for councils and Natural Resources Wales officials.

“With Carwyn Jones and Alun Davies out of the country, it should be made clear who has ultimate responsibility within the Labour government.

“Welsh Conservatives have long called for more importance to be placed on coastal flood defences and the minister’s review must be fast-tracked.

“Funding for repairs must also be made urgently available and allocation processes clarified.”

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