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CALLS have been made for a pot of money to be set aside to fund a rapid response to flooding incidents across Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.
Councillors on the Community Services scrutiny committee on Monday, July 19, looked at the council’s Flood Risk Management Plan, which covers 2016 to 2022, and discussed the progress made over the last year.
The plan highlights the hazards and risk of flooding and sets out how the authority will work with other parties and local communities to deal with the problem.
Cllr John Morgan said: “A lot of our water and debris are coming off the mountains and going through culverts and under terraced properties.
“What we are seeing is that the culverts are blocking or collapsing because of their age.”
He explained that some of these culverts could be 150 to 200 years old.
Cllr Morgan continued: “With climate change the storms we are starting to have, we are going to see the problems occur more often.
“What I would like to see is a separate fund that is set up and held in response and can be used very quickly in emergencies which means we don’t need to wait for Welsh Government funding.
“It gives us a chance to do the work, and it can be replenished as and when funds become available.
“We’ve seen what’s happened in other areas, we should be prepared and do what’s needed to keep our community safe.”
Team leader for the natural environment, Wayne Jervis said: “The plan for a separate fund sounds great, but the only problem we have is, if we pay for something up front Welsh Government won’t allow us to claim for money later on.”
He explained that money needed to be claimed for “future work” rather than that which has already been done.
Committee chair, Cllr Amanda Moore, said: “It would be lovely if we could have the fund, but it’s out of our control at the moment.”
Councillors voted to accept the report, which will also be discussed by the Executive committee at their meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22.

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