Several hundred thousand pounds of funding is being provided for flood resilience measures in the Rhondda following pressure from Leanne Wood.
In plenary on Wednesday, Environment Minister Leslie Griffiths revealed that £303,450 has been approved “to install property flood resilience to 357 homes in the Rhondda.” It is part of a package of £1.9m of flood alleviation projects across Rhondda Cynon Taf and follows on from concerted pressure by Rhondda Members of the Senedd Leanne Wood.
Leanne has written to the Environment Minister on numerous occasions this year and asked her in the Senedd to fund measures to prevent more flooding of homes in the Rhondda.
During the plenary question Leanne also asked Ms Griffiths to agree to an independent inquiry into flooding in the Rhondda – something the Minister refused to do.
Leanne said: “In the last month, your Government's Natural Resources Wales have published reports into this year's floods, and my interest is clearly in the Rhondda. Few people were surprised to find out that NRW found no blame in themselves in those reports.
“The closest it got to an admission of liability was when it said that it was underfunded to respond to the magnitude of February's events, something that I hope that you've heard and considered very carefully, Minster.
“Now, it is clear to me and to many others, who signed a petition, that only an independent inquiry will get to the bottom of what happened and will come up with lasting solutions, which will take account of the climate crisis.
“And that is the best chance that we have of preventing this kind of thing happening to communities here in the Rhondda again. The Labour position in Westminster, earlier this year, was to support an inquiry into floods in communities in England.
“Why is an inquiry like this not good enough for people here in Wales? Will you now back an independent inquiry? Or will you explain to people in the Rhondda what you are scared such an inquiry might reveal?”
In reply, the Environment Minister said: “I am not scared at all, and, no, I will not commit to an independent review, at the current time, for the reasons I've said to you in this Chamber and for the reasons I've said to you in correspondence. We are waiting for the section 19 investigation reports.”
She added: “We are trying our very best to ensure that that funding that RCT requested, they've received. I mentioned the additional funding I have given this week for the property flood resilience, so that people who feel they need it in their homes can go to their risk management authority and request that funding, have whatever is required installed properly.
“I don't think it would be for individuals to come forward with that request, and that's exactly what we've done.”
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