The Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda has called on the Labour Government in Wales to provide flood doors to all households in the Fach and Fawr at risk of flooding.
Following a series of floods in the Rhondda this year which has left some communities devastated, Leanne Wood has reiterated calls for people and property to be given better protection from rising water levels. She has also repeated calls for the Labour Environment Minister to take up a long-standing invitation to meet people affected by flooding in the Rhondda.
The news comes on the week that a Senedd petition instigated by Plaid Cymru calling for a full and independent inquiry into the prevalence of flooding in the area surpassed the 5,000 signatures needed for it to go before the petitions committee for further discussion and consideration for a Senedd debate.
In her letter to Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths, Leanne wrote: ‘You may be aware that a charitable trust has recently announced its intention to fund temporary flood gates in one Rhondda community. This is on the understanding that a more permanent solution can be funded over the longer term. The gates are intended to provide peace of mind for the community that has been worst affected by the floods. The generosity of this foundation is gratefully received in Pentre. However, those who have been flooded in other communities such as Porth, Ynyshir, Blaenllechau, Maerdy, Treherbert, Penygraig, Ystrad, Ton Pentre and Treorci will have no such peace of mind.
After referring to and quoting from a Labour Government strategy document, Leanne added: ‘It is clear that the strategy would support the provision of flood doors for everyone who has been affected by flooding in the Rhondda and that flood doors would provide not only peace of mind for people who have been flooded – some multiple times - but it would also make financial sense over the long term. We are all aware that flooding events are expensive for everyone.
‘Finally, you did not answer my question as to whether any financial support would be available for those who lost property or suffered damage to property due to the flash floods which hit a number of communities in the Rhondda in June or whether you are able to visit any communities with me in the near future?’
Afterwards Leanne said: “We need some direct action now from the Labour Government to protect all homes in the Rhondda at risk of flooding. Many people are unable to rest whenever there is rain falling in their communities – people should not have to live like this.
“The Labour Government can bring that peace of mind residents crave by delivering a programme that installs flood doors to everyone that needs them. There is money available in England for this – all we are asking for is parity.”
Leanne added: “It was pleasing to see us cross the threshold to hopefully secure a Senedd debate. The Rhondda has suddenly become flood prone and we need to get to the bottom of why that is. I do not have faith in the authorities who may be responsible for causing or at least exacerbating flooding to give the full and frank answers that are needed which is why we need an inquiry is unrestrained by personal interest.
“I will keep fighting for answers on behalf of the Rhondda people.”