A National Flood Forum for Wales will protect our communities


Plaid outlines actions that should be taken to help communities facing flood risk

The Welsh Government should support establish a dedicated flood forum for Wales to provide support for people at risk of flooding. That was the message of Plaid Cymru AMs to the Environment Minister during an Assembly debate.

The Party of Wales Shadow Environment Minister Llyr Gruffydd called on the Welsh Government to heed the calls of experts in the field and establish a National Flood Forum for Wales, separate to the England and Wales body that presently exists. He explained that a Welsh Forum could be a strong voice for those affected by flooding in Wales.

The Party of Wales Shadow Environment Minister Llyr Gruffydd said:

“Recent events in Wales have proven that flooding has a devastating effect on the families it affects, and we know that incidents of extreme weather will happen more and more often in future. This is why Plaid Cymru wants to see much more done to support communities which are at risk of flooding.

“The Forum would work in targeted areas and bring community members together to form a core group in order to empower those communities to help themselves. Other work carried out by the Forum would include campaigning against inappropriate development in high risk areas; sharing best practice and mitigation measures; providing emergency packs and somewhere for those affected by flooding to go.

“Plaid Cymru wants the Welsh Government to replicate the example of the Scottish Government which has established a dedicated Scottish National Flood Forum.”

Mr Gruffydd supported calls for a public enquiry into recent incidents of flooding in Denbighshire:

“The residents of Denbighshire quite rightly want answers to a number of questions. An inquiry should not only focus on the events on the day but should also consider the history of the site, planning approval, the original flood alleviation scheme, what agreements had been made and with whom, why was any early warning system so ineffective.”

He pointed to the Statement of Principles between the UK Government and the Association of British Insurers which protects people living in properties at high risk from flooding by ensuring that they are eligible for flooding insurance. He warned that the agreement, when it expires in June 2013, would leave flood risk insurance to the free market, leaving an estimated quarter of a million households facing insurance premiums of more than £750 per annum.