Fight for Justice for Flood Victims Continues a Year-on
On the night of 15th February and the early hours of 16th February 2020, Storm Dennis hit and over 1000 homes and businesses across RCT suffered devastating floods. A year on, the impact can still be seen and felt, with very little done to reassure those affected that the situation would be different if a similar storm was to hit the area again.
Plaid Cymru Councillor and Senedd Candidate Heledd Fychan has been at the forefront of campaigning for an Independent Inquiry into the Floods, and through a petition supported by over 6,000 people, was able to force a discussion on the matter in the Senedd in December 2020.
Alongside Leanne Wood MS, and her fellow Plaid Cymru Councillors in RCT, she continues to fight for justice for those affected, so that lessons are learnt, and investment secured in flood prevention measures. This is to ensure homes and businesses are protected as far as possible in the future.
To date, Labour representatives have voted against an Independent Inquiry, despite the fact that Labour MPs representing Pontypridd, Rhondda and Cynon Valley supported an Independent Inquiry into the floods in England.
Speaking on the eve of the anniversary, Cllr Fychan stated: “One year-on, our community remains traumatised by the impact of the floods. Homes, businesses and structures were destroyed, with repair works still under way.
“Lives were also changed, with many people still suffering poor physical and mental health as a result of the floods, let alone suffering financially. Worse of all, they still don’t have the answers as to what went wrong and why, and how they will be supported and protected in the future.
“The need for an Independent Inquiry remains, and the fight continues until we secure justice for those affected and investment in flood prevention measures. Our communities will not be able to rest easy until this happens, and I call on the Welsh Government to re-think their position to date, and establish an Independent Inquiry as a matter of urgency.”
Cllr Fychan also reflected on the hundreds of donations received following the floods, as well as the volunteers that supported recovery efforts, paying tribute to their work: “We also saw the community come together following the floods, with hundreds of people volunteering their time and skills to put in place practical support for those affected as well as raising significant amounts of money to support those affected.
“Many volunteers have gone on to continue to support others over the course of the pandemic, demonstrating that community spirit remains alive and well. I am grateful to each and everyone of them, and wish to thank them for the positive difference they have made to the lives of so many people during the most challenging of times.”
Plaid Cymru produced a report into the floods, that contained the heart-breaking testimony of those affected by the floods. The report is available here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.
Further information about the campaign for an Independent Inquiry into the floods can be found here: https://www.pontypridd-