Communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf – which saw some of the worst flooding when storms Ciara and Dennis struck Wales earlier this year – are set to benefit from a further £1.1m in emergency funds, to cover the immediate repair of damaged flood alleviation measures.
The funding is in addition to £540k given to the local authority to work on repairs and remediation to flood alleviation assets, bringing the total funding provided to the borough council for such work by the Welsh Government to £1.6million.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, will confirm the additional funding during a visit to a flood scheme in Aberdare today (Monday, August 24) with Cllr Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.
This brings the total amount in repair funds provided to local authorities across Wales in 2019/20 and 2020/21 to just below £4million.
The new funds will allow the local authority to carry out urgent works to existing flood assets.
This includes repairs to culvert inlets and screens, along with inspection and repairs to existing assets, and the repair or replacement of existing monitoring equipment.
The Minister said:
I am very pleased to be able to confirm this further funding during my visit to Aberdare today.
We have provided 100% grant funding to all of the flood risk applications brought to us by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and we will continue to work with the local authority as it looks at wider catchment responses to future flooding risk.
The local authority has worked hard since February to identify repairs needed to existing flood assets, to ensure they continue to protect communities in any future storms.
We have provided full funding to all those local authorities across Wales who applied for emergency flood defence and flood asset repair funding, amounting to just below £4million.
Wales was especially hard hit by February’s storms and we have made a clear case to the UK Government on the need for extra funding to address the damage caused. We look forward to the UK Government honouring its commitment to ‘passport’ that new funding to Wales in support of this crucial work.
The Minister added:
We continue to encourage local authorities and risk management authorities to across Wales to apply for further funding to help deal with the damage caused to alleviation assets and defences by February’s storms
As we look to respond to the climate emergency, we will have to deal with increased flooding risks across Wales.
That is why we have not only increased financial and practical support to Local Authorities and NRW – not only to support those communities which saw flooding earlier this year, but also to bring forward new flood defence schemes, and encourage authorities to bring more projects forward.
This support includes 100% grant funding for all project preparation and design work, plus our new £2m Natural Flood Management programme.
Cllr Andrew Morgan, the Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said:
We very much welcome the funding from Welsh Government, which allows us to progress important flood alleviation projects in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which will significantly reduce the risk of flooding for the benefit of local residents.
The storms that we experienced in February were unprecedented, causing widespread damage to property and businesses across our County Borough, which was devastating to us all.
Climate change is real threat to our communities, with the likelihood of flooding increasing as this continues. It is now more important than ever that all agencies work together to protect our communities from the threat of flooding, creating new flood defences, improving existing infrastructure and creating greater resilience.
Furthermore, this funding will go towards supporting resilience measures for the Pentre area as we go into the crucial winter months, before further, longer-term work is undertaken.