THE Welsh Government is “failing to protect” communities in the Rhondda by refusing to hold an inquiry into the devastating flooding of last year Plaid Cymru has said.
Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda said that “lessons need to be learned” around why the floods occurred and how further floods can be prevented, and that those affected should be protected from reliving the same trauma again.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Environment, Llyr Gruffydd MS noted that the Welsh Government has to “identify weak points” and ramp up its flood defences.
In a document seen by Plaid Cymru which is part of the Labour party in Wales’ development of its 2021 manifesto, the party admits the “need for investment and policy change to build greater resilience to intense weather events of the kind we have seen in 2020”.
Labour, who have been in Government in Wales for the past twenty years, have so far refused to carry out an independent inquiry into the February 2020 floods in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda, Leanne Wood said,
“Today we are calling once again for the Welsh Government to establish an independent inquiry into the flooding in the Rhondda. Lessons need to be learned around why communities were hit so badly, and crucially, further floods have to be prevented. We can’t allow these communities to rebuild their lives, their homes and their businesses just to have them torn apart all over again.
“Labour in Westminster urged the UK Government to investigate floods in England last year, a motion which was backed by all MPs in the valleys, and yet in Wales where Labour is in power they’re opposed to an investigation. One Welsh Labour MP went as far as describing an independent inquiry into the flooding in the Rhondda as ‘just about the daftest idea I have heard’.
“You cannot put a price on safeguarding people and their homes or giving people the peace of mind an inquiry would bring. Climate change means further severe weather is inevitable, but the flooding of houses doesn’t have to be if the right actions to prevent them are identified. The people of the Rhondda shouldn’t be forced to relive the same trauma ever again.”
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Environment, Llyr Gruffydd MS added,
“Climate change means that urgent action is needed from the Welsh Government to improve flood defences and mitigate the effects severe weather will have on communities across Wales. As recently as last week we’ve seen its devastating and sudden consequences.
“Welsh Labour’s own policy document reiterates the need for investment and greater resilience against extreme weather, including flooding. Why then do their actions not reflect the urgent need there is to act?
“Flooding infrastructure, particularly natural flood management has to be ramped up, and investigations into floods such as those in the Rhondda are absolutely essential in seeing what went wrong, and identifying and fixing weak points.
“Plaid Cymru has been calling on the Welsh Government to establish an inquiry for months, and it’s time they listened. By denying the people of the Rhondda an inquiry, they are failing to protect them.”