Following the devastation caused by flooding across Wales due to Storm Christoph, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Energy, and Rural Affairs, has called on the Welsh Parliament to back her transformative six point plan for protecting communities.
The Shadow Minister’s plan calls for:
- Facilitating independent inquiries into significant flooding events
- Establishing a Welsh flood agency to co-ordinate flood risk management and the response to flooding events
- Designating blue belts to restrict unnecessary development in areas of significant flood risk
- Increasing investment in flood defences and flood risk management
- Ensuring that funding is immediately available to get through the initial clean-up stage
- Working with the insurance industry to ensure that homes and businesses can access affordable flood-related insurance
After presenting her proposals in a speech to the Welsh Parliament, Janet said:
“My hearts go out to all people affected by Storm Christoph, but we could see the Welsh Government offer much more.
“I know for a fact that a short inquiry into last February’s flooding unearthed that whilst the Welsh Government claimed to have taken away all funding barriers, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, and Rhondda Cynon Taf provided clear evidence to the contrary. This cannot happen again.
“Last week, NRW were going into battle wounded because they have only managed to employ around half the extra staff needed to sustain the overall service at the levels described in the February 2020 Floods in Wales: Flood Incident Management Review report.
“Wales is in the midst of a flooding crisis, so we need a team which is 100% focused on the situation, not the current arrangements at NRW which sees around 300 have some responsibility. A Welsh flood agency would address that.
“Our nation and communities deserve better. That is why I am proud to continue my long running campaign to see the Welsh Government facilitate independent inquiries into significant flooding events.
“Since 2019 I have been calling for an independent inquiry for the Conwy Valley, and I can assure you I won’t give in, and won’t allow the Welsh Government to ignore calls from communities elsewhere in Wales too”.