Posted: Mon 8th Jul 2024

Jack Sargeant appeals to First Minister for fast-tracking Deeside flood work

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Jack Sargeant MS used First Minister’s Questions to highlight the urgent need for flood defence schemes in Sandycroft and Pentre.

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government announced over £800,000 of funding to carry out flood prevention work in Flintshire, plus a further £600,000 for seven other projects:

Hendre Flood Alleviation Works, Mold Surface Water Management Plan, Cae Bracty Drainage Improvements, Sandycroft Flood Resilience Plan, Broughton and Bretton Flood Resilience Plan, Small Scale Works Grant Replacement of Trash Screen Main Road Broughton, and Small Scale Works Grant New Surface Water Drain 19 Liverpool Road Buckley.

Jack Sargeant said he was ‘delighted’ when funding for the schemes was announced earlier this year and now wants work to begin as quickly as possible.

The Alyn and Deeside MS said he has been in ‘constant contact’ with Flintshire Council and Natural Resources Wales about the schemes and their successful bids to the Welsh Government for funding.

Jack asked the First Minister:

First Minister, I’m delighted that the Welsh Government announced significant funding in Sandycroft, Mancot and Pentre for work that should protect wider communities from flood risk. I’ve been in regular contact with the local community flood action group there. They’ve worked hard to keep this issue at the forefront of decision-makers’ minds. First Minister, I’m really keen to see NRW now ensure the work takes place in a quick and timely manner. As you can imagine, First Minister, every time it rains, residents and I are deeply, deeply concerned. They’ve been flooded twice in as many years, and their concerns and worries come back to the forefront of their minds. Can I ask you, First Minister, to use your office to encourage NRW to provide regular updates for residents, and to convey a message from residents—from me and them—of their desire for the work to be completed as soon as practically possible?

The First Minister responded:

I thank the Member for his follow-up question and just note that this has been a regular feature in questions from the Member—I think there are six oral questions and three written questions on this issue—making sure that he continues to press the case for his constituents. I know that Flintshire was particularly affected by Storm Babet last October. That’s why we are pleased we’ve been able to allocate £800,000 for construction work to progress at Sandycroft, Pentre and Mancot. Despite all the pressure in the public purse, this is an area that we have allocated resources for because of the risks that exist. The good news is that our officials in the climate change and rural affairs department met NRW and Flintshire County Council in May to discuss the progress of both projects. Last week, NRW issued letters to local residents in Sandycroft and Pentre to inform them of planned construction works that are due to commence later this summer.

If there is any delay or any issue with a lack of communication—I’m confident the Member will, but I want to put it on the record—if there are issues, please contact me and the climate change Secretary, and we’ll ensure that proper communication is maintained. But the work should be commencing this summer, and I hope residents will see that physically because I do recognise the worry residents in any part of Wales would have if they have been subject to regular flooding, and this is a scheme that we’re proud to support.

Carolyn Thomas MS also highlighted the importance of funding to tackle flooding across Flintshire, during First Minister’s Questions, she said:

When the funding was announced in March, I received an email from Flintshire County Council. They were so pleased that all the bids they put forward for flood alleviation across Flintshire would be covered by the grant funding, and it would also help with resilience within the drainage department, which has suffered following more than a decade of cuts and austerity. They said it’s also important to maintain momentum and continue to work in partnership with Dŵr Cymru and NRW.

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