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Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have a duty to investigate and publish reports on flood events that occur within its area to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate.

Under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCTCBC), as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), have a duty to investigate and publish reports on flood events that occur within its area to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate.

Posted on the 19 1 2021

If you look on the RCTCBC website after all the flooding that has happened there is only one report referenced so far the flooding at Brook Street Aberaman, so why is there only one report considering how many flooding incidents that have happened? 26 OCT 2019  Wales online report  “A landslide in the Penrhiwfer area of The Rhondda has sent cascades of muddy water and dirt into homes in the area” BBC report “In Aberaman, Rhondda Cynon Taff, one resident was rescued from a first-floor window by fire crews on Saturday morning and other residents were evacuated as a precaution,” and “a train getting stuck in flood water near Penrhiwceiber, Rhondda Cynon Taff, where 30 passengers had to be rescued.” Yes, Storm Callum caused many problems so where are the flood reports for all the other incidents? 

RCT CBC has asked the question regarding flooding that happened between 15 & 17 February 2020 (Storm Dennis) once again this Flood Incident Data Gathering is to be carried out by their consultants Capita and the company within that company Redstart, this is almost a year on where have they been until now? Capita has a multitude of consultants working for them who are only too eager to work for RCTCBC.  

Little wonder we have such high council tax employing a top London company to gather information on flooding when RCTCBC have a highways and flooding department and officers. Why has everything got to go to outside consultants? As one writer who used to post on AberdareOnline explained his take on consultants (A consultant is someone who asks to borrow your watch just to tell you the time).

 

It is interesting Capita and their other arm in the company Redstart collecting data, as I have asked Capita to answer basic questions regarding work on flood prevention on the Nant Gwawr Watercourse, Capita Redstart collaborating on design and supervision of the contract for RCRCBC. Capita said they would get back to me but Redstart director informed me they could not comment, as the project had been approved by RCTCBC my questions to Redstart below. This project has come about through lack of maintenance by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council as with most watercourses and culverts in RCT the upside is the highway has been improved.

 

(1) Why is not cleaning out the brick culvert that runs under Gwawr Street of silt and debris that has been allowed to build up over a period of years through lack of maintenance by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council not included in the contract?

 

(2) Why are you not reducing the bed of the Nant Gwawr to its original level i.e. the invert level of the brick culvert?

(3) It will be interesting to see the footings of the new concrete wall that foundations have to go at the depth of the original wall and below the invert level of the brick culvert otherwise, the new wall foundation will be on made up ground as you are probably aware, then to backfill the new section of concrete wall higher than the level of the invert of the brick culvert. Is this good building practice?

 

(4) The watercourse embankment on the Blaengwawr school side will not have any protection work to prevent bank erosion no gabions or replacing the well-eroded stonewall that once was in place to prevent this?

 

(5) Nant Gwawr watercourse embankment soil is contaminated with Japanese knotweed where do you intend disposing of the contaminated soil on-site or accredited waste site?

 

(6) I note from the drawing that the Palisade Security Fencing will be replaced with a cheaper chain link as you already have the Palisade Security Fencing why is it not being reused?

 

Having had no positive response from Redstart or Capita I emailed Vikki Howells

Senedd Constituency Member for Cynon Valley not holding up much hope, as she did not bother to respond when I contacted her previously about the Nant Gwawr but this time her office emailed back and said they did write to the council I didn’t receive a copy of her correspondences to the council but have not had a reply or answers to my questions. Something I expected little use truly asking a labour politician to question a labour controlled council or is this asking a bit much to expect an answer?

 

Having been informed Jacqueline Mynott, a Chartered Structural Engineer with Highways Infrastructure for RCTCBC was the person overall in charge of this contract I emailed Jacqueline Mynott the questions but again no response this was over 4 months ago.

My main question is why are RCTCBC refusing to clean out the culvert in Gwawr Street when they are responsible for the culvert as RCTCBC keep telling us all they have a dedicated culvert cleaning teem.

 

RCT CBC has contractors working on another major flooding project around Park Lane School Trecynon this seems a much larger operation constructing new watercourses a  new footbridge and TruckPaver a heavy-duty interlocking Plastic Grass Grid Paving System for a new roadway part of the new watercourse is lined with gabions, I am also informed large holding tanks were also installed on this project. Going back to my question 4 regarding the Nant Gwawr no gabions used on the watercourse, you have to ask the question why not? 

 

So you have to start asking why has so much council tax money or Welsh Government funding been used as the contract in Trecynon the new watercourse constructed is substantial just to prevent a small amount of water hitting one school. Didn’t someone say recently there is a proposal for more housing developments at the rear of the Old Boys School on part of the Hirwaun Common? If this information is correct the developer will need to dispose large amounts of surface water from that development so is this the real reason why RCTCBC is spending all this money on a large new watercourse storage tanks for further development? Only time will tell.

 

Seeing our council spending taxpayers money in Trecynon lets look where this type of project could also do some good, let’s take Abercwmboi, in particular, Bronallt Terrace, now Bronallt Terrace has suffered major flooding so much so residents have permanent sandbags laying next to their property in fact I have seen them delivered by the pallet load. The reason is there is two watercourses running under properties in Bronallt Terrace outdated culverts for the volumes of surface water we are seeing today, not the best way to dispose of stormwater especially with the onset of global warming and the continual problems for the residents of Bronallt Terrace.

 

As with the Trecynon project why not bypass the Bronallt Terrace and construct a new larger watercourse and culvert at the end of 77 Bronallt Terrace as many older residents would know it as The Black Road the original entrance road to the Phurnacite plant before the concrete road was constructed. This would go a long way in reducing the continual problems that residents have to endure sleepless nights when heavy rain is forecast. Perhaps the 2 local Aberaman South labour councillors can undertake this as a project or the member of the Senedd? Well, there must be a photo opportunity in it somewhere.

Once again time will tell if the council come up with a long-term solution (or they could engage their well-paid consultants Capita who I am sure will provide a solution to the ongoing problem in Abercwmboi)   

 

If you were one of the sceptics who didn’t believe allowing the development of the large floodplain at Tirfounder Fields Cwmbach would not cause major problems it has brought. I see the leader of RCTCBC has posted on Twitter “Work on the first phase of the flood alleviation scheme in Cwmbach has started. This work will help pipe away floodwater from the businesses on Canal Road that have been flooded several times.” Yes, there has been flooding several times and also the railway line has had its problems also and even more development in the pipeline on the floodplain at Tirfounder Fields you have to ask the question why?

 

As I said in the beginning “Under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCTCBC), as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), have a duty to investigate and publish reports on flood events that occur within its area to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate.”

 

The council has a duty to investigate and publish reports on flood events that occur within its area to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate.

 

So why is there only one report published many parts of RCT were flooded by Storm Callum is it time to start asking your councillor, council, MP and Senedd Member, the question is why are there no reports for other areas in RCT?

 

Or didn’t the council consider it necessary or appropriate?