MP’s vow to lobby Government to make sure flooding never happens again

After the devastating Boxing Day floods, the residents and business owners of Whalley were today busy cleaning up and preparing for the next storm.'Allan Elliott, of Calder Vale in Whalley, shows MP for Ribble Valley Nigel Evans the spectacular erosion of his garden by the river (the shrubs close to the river mark where lawn used to reach).  PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-12-2015
After the devastating Boxing Day floods, the residents and business owners of Whalley were today busy cleaning up and preparing for the next storm.'Allan Elliott, of Calder Vale in Whalley, shows MP for Ribble Valley Nigel Evans the spectacular erosion of his garden by the river (the shrubs close to the river mark where lawn used to reach). PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-12-2015

MP Nigel Evans has vowed to lobby the Government for action to make sure the floods never happen again.

He made that promise as the Government announced that funding will be available for residents and businesses hit by the disaster.

Every household will be eligible to receive £500 and support will also be available for businesses severely affected, either directly or indirectly, by the flooding to help them recover and get trading again as soon as possible.

Support will also be offered to any farmers affected in the Ribble Valley.

Mr Evans said: “This most recent episode of flooding has resulted in unprecedented damage to around 250 properties in the villages of Whalley and Billington.

“It is absolutely vital that lessons are learnt so that these communities are not left defenceless and unprepared again. Alongside the need for a fast response in the event of further flooding, there must be proper long-term planning. We need to ensure that we have the availability of fields to hold water, some of which have recently been used for housing.”

Mr Evans said he had been in contact with the Prime Minister about the unprecedented damage suffered in Whalley and Billington following the visits to the area from the Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Sir James Bevans, the chief executive of the Environment Agency.

After pitching in with the clean-up operation Mr Evans held an advice surgery in Whalley and promised to continue to be be of “whatever help” he could be.

He also paid tribute to all the groups and volunteers who had helped run the clean- up operation saying: “The local community in the wake of the flooding has been absolutely sensational, with dozens of people sacrificing their own time to help their neighbours.

“I want to pay tribute to all of the volunteer organisations, such as the Whalley and District Lions’ Club, who have helped to organise the response and to staff at Ribble Valley Council who have been of tremendous support to the community at what has amounted to a dreadful time of misery, pain and suffering for so many people.”

The Government has also announced that further help will be available in the shape of local tax relief for residents and businesses whose properties have not been occupied due to the flooding.

Help may also be available for households without insurance from a local discretionary fund administered by the Community Foundation for Lancashire.

Details are available from www.lancsfloodappeal.org.uk/.