by rykdownes on 13 January, 2016
Otley Lib Dem councillors Sandy Lay, Colin Campbell and Ryk Downes welcomed large numbers of affected residents to All Saints Parish Church on Tuesday 12th January so that flooding concerns could be raised.
The meeting, attended by all three ward members and organised by Cllrs Lay and Campbell, played host to the Environment Agency, Leeds City Council and the police and fire services so that residents could raise issues and learn how to protect homes in any future floods.
Cllr Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said: “It was an opportunity for residents to feed back what went wrong, what went well and what could be done better in future, an opportunity I was pleased to see that many took. There were a lot of very good suggestions to come out of the meeting, from all who attended.”
The Environment Agency will be conducting a review into the causes of the flooding in Otley so that safeguards can be put in place. The council’s own Flood Risk Management team will work with them on this as well as conducting a review into all council buildings affected to ensure that they are brought back up to standard.
The representative from the council tax department also confirmed that everyone affected would be provided with a rebate on their tax for at least three months until they move back into their flood damaged properties, without having to apply.
Cllr Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) added: “Residents were able to hear about the grants and schemes that are available to help replace treasured belongings and safeguard their properties in the future. Issues around the state of the roads that were flooded were also brought up, leading to a promise from the council’s highways department to draw up repair works.”
The ward councillors will be organising another meeting for residents in the next few weeks to support them in coordinating their own efforts to make their properties flood resilient, using the £5,000 grants the council will be launching this week.
Cllr Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) commented: “We are committed to working with residents to limit the impact of this flooding and reduce the potential for future floods in Otley.
“There was a great turnout at this meeting, with nearly all affected residents attending and I hope that they all got it the information, support and advice that they needed. We will let residents know as soon as the next meeting is arranged.”