Posted: Sat 6th Jul 2024

Mark Isherwood MS raises alarm over sandbag allocation for Flintshire residents

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A North Wales MS, Mark Isherwood, has raised pressing concerns over the allocation of sandbags to older and vulnerable residents in Flintshire’s flood-prone areas, specifically Broughton and Bretton.

Speaking during a meeting of the Welsh Parliament this week, Mr Isherwood cited complaints from residents who felt overlooked during the aftermath of Storm Babet in October 2023.

Mr Isherwood highlighted the plight of Broughton residents who experienced severe flooding in 2021.

He noted that Flintshire County Council had committed to prioritising the elderly and vulnerable in known flooding black spots.

However, recent events suggest that these commitments may not have been upheld.

“After I intervened on behalf of flooded residents in Broughton, in 2021, Flintshire County Council detailed the actions they would take, including that priority would be given to elderly and vulnerable residents and known flooding black spots,” Mr Isherwood said.

He referenced a constituent’s letter stating, “My parents’ home in Bretton, Flintshire, near Broughton, was completely destroyed with flood water. My parents are both OAPs.”

The constituent added that despite numerous calls, no sandbags were delivered, whereas sandbags were reportedly delivered to the daughter of a senior Labour County Councillor living nearby. This case is currently under review by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

Mr Isherwood questioned First Minister Vaughan Gething on the Welsh Government’s policy or guidance regarding the prioritisation of sandbag distribution to older and vulnerable residents in flooding blackspots.

In response, Mr Gething stated, “These are matters for local authorities to resolve.”

Katie Wilby, Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) for Flintshire County Council, responded to the concerns by emphasising ongoing efforts to support communities at risk.

She stated: “Through the establishment of local flood groups, the Council, together with partner risk management authorities, continue to work with communities, including those referred to, to assist and enhance resilience in areas most at risk of flooding.

“In relation to the provision of sandbags, our website offers advice to residents at risk of flooding: https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Resident/Emergency-Planning/Floods.aspx.

“During times of inclement weather, the Authority will make reasonable efforts to assist residents at imminent risk of flooding, but this is subject to resources available at the time of an event.

“No guarantee can be offered to residents that we can assist with all flood incidents.

“The County Council will endeavour to respond to most requests, but there may be some delay, particularly for the more widespread or large-scale events.

“The distribution of sandbags on-site is the responsibility of the property owners, and although the responding staff will assist where possible, this cannot be guaranteed.”

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