Flooding causes terrible disruption and misery. That is why the Bellwin scheme was used to compensate Councils for the extra costs that dealing with the damage creates.
Bill Wiggin MP for North Herefordshire said “Despite the Government activating and extending the Bellwin scheme to provide local councils with the funding they need to deal with the flooding, Herefordshire remains in a state of disarray.
The coalition of Green, IOC and Independent Councillors ruling the County Council in coalition need to start delivering rather than complaining that it’s not their fault.
Constituents are quite rightly upset that, although the rain has stopped falling, they still find themselves in very difficult situations. The people who write to me know that there is nothing one can do about Mother Nature but feel that the local authorities could have and should have done better.
For those trying to get in or out of Fownhope, the road collapse and closure is deeply frustrating. This needs repairing fast so that the businesses and residents can get on with their lives.
As a Conservative MP, I am used to all failures being blamed on austerity, and I expect similar accusations will wrongly be made this time around. However, since the last Council’s unpopular but wise decision to sell Council-owned farms, there has been enough money for Councillors to spend.
In 2019 the Government approved £182 million to be spent on the proposed Hereford bypass to relieve the terrible traffic that all-too-often brings the city to a standstill. Yet now, in 2020, the delaying tactics by the Council have meant that not an inch of tarmac has been laid.
The Council has given up appealing access to the new housing estate by Ledbury Viaduct, yet the ward member is also cabinet member for finances! So when the Council say they cannot afford to appeal, who was the decision maker?
Meanwhile despite Government money our potholes continue to frustrate!
I hope that the Council will use the money provided to it by the Government to resolve the issues our County is currently facing and do everything in its power to ensure that we do not face this level of disruption and devastation again. I will do my part by continuing to lobby the Government to provide extra funding to get the job done. The rest is up to them.