CONCERNS have been raised about when the remaining Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) Storm Dennis flood reports will be published.
Councillor Heledd Fychan of Pontypridd Town and Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central has been asking where the rest of section 19 reports in the flooding in February 2020 are.
It comes after three reports were released on Tuesday, January 25 covering Taff’s Well, Treforest and Glyntaff, Rhydyfelin, and Hawthorn.
This brings the total of section 19 reports published to 6 with 13 others not yet published and no indication when they will be published, Cllr Fychan said.
Amongst areas waiting for a section 19 report are Nantgarw and Pontypridd.
A further nine flood investigation reports are also anticipated and Cllr Fychan said it is unclear at present whether these have been completed as the council does not intend to publish them.
She said: “I welcome the publication of the three reports at long last, and will work closely with residents to ensure that they are scrutinised.
“I will also ensure that any remaining questions or concerns that they may have after reading the reports are raised with the relevant authorities.
“Communities are still living in fear, and the fact that so many reports are yet to be published is cause for concern. Two years on, we should be able to provide greater assurances to those affected.
“Too many questions remain regarding what happened on that fateful weekend. I will continue to work with residents and businesses affected to ensure that we don’t forget what happened and that everything possible is done to ensure that they continue to be supported and protected against future flooding.”
A spokesman for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said:
“Since Storm Dennis, the council has invested significant time and resources to mitigate the risk of flood events, with works not reliant upon a Section 19 report (under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010) being published. Therefore, the non-publication of reports does not delay any development of, or investment in, flood alleviation works.
“The act requires the lead local flood authority to investigate flooding, identify the Risk Management Authorities (RMA) responsible for managing the risk, and report on what functions they have exercised and what functions they propose to exercise. They are legal documents requiring consultation with the named RMAs, and sometimes this may take longer than expected.
“It is important to note that RMAs start exercising their functions as soon as there is a flood event. For example, in relation to the Section 19 report focusing on Pentre in July 2021, 17 functions had already been exercised before publication of the report.
“The council is envisaging the publication of a further three reports this week – focusing on Pontypridd, Nantgarw, and Hirwaun. This will bring the running total to 28 flood investigation reports, one overview report, and nine section 19 reports, relating to Storm Dennis.
“In exercising its general powers and functions as an RMA, since Storm Dennis, the council has surveyed more than 50km of underground culverted watercourse, created a dedicated drainage management team with 24/7 resources, opened an emergency control centre, and installed 26 additional cameras/telemetry to monitor higher risk infrastructure.
“In addition, the council has completed more than 50 projects in communities relating to flood alleviation and is developing more than 50 others.
” It has also provided more than 400 sets of interim flood-resistant equipment (for example, expandable barriers) to the highest risk properties.
“The total investment in flood alleviation within RCT since Storm Dennis will be more than £13m by the end of March 2022 – which does not include a significant number of further funding bids for 2022/23.”
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