The PM says ‘money is no object’ but the council say there is no money for up front help – for residents dealing with the aftermath this is just not good enough says Labour's Jo McCarron
Jo McCarron, Labour's candidate for Kingswood at next year’s General Election, has been helping residents in Hanham getting the help and information they’ve needed since their homes were under threat from rising river levels last week. Their experiences of the recent floods have led to Jo pushing for measures to be taken to prevent people being in this situation again.
Jo McCarron said:
“Families facing the distress of flooding need to know they will get all the help available, from the local authority in the short term but also the Government in the long term.
“The Prime Minister saying that ‘money is no object’ but the council are saying there is no money for up front help – for residents dealing with the aftermath this is just not good enough.”
61 year old Steve, a resident of Riverside Cottages, who was wading through water in his home over Christmas has been battling ever since to protect his property from rising river levels. He added:
“I’m grateful for all the practical things Jo has done, like getting the sandbags and contacting relevant authorities, but I’m disappointed about the response I got from the council, and my local councillors in Hanham.
“It’s not just the immediate chaos caused by being flooded, but the aftermath; clearing-up, dealing with insurance claims. It’s all quite stressful and I need to know where I can get support.”
Jo McCarron added:
“It seems residents here are not being taken seriously. One lady told me she has called the MP several times but got no response. I managed to get sandbags from South Gloucestershire Council but not without being told that they don’t have a statutory obligation to provide them. It’s simply not good enough.
“The Council needs a proper strategy is put in place to avoid this happening again which is why I welcome the consultation, and encourage people to respond. But this won’t help residents such as Steve right now. For example, I am currently on the case for a lady to get a council tax rebate on a property she can't live in as it's flooded.
“I’ve also demanded answers from B&NES council to find out why the sluice gates were opened down river and what assessment was made of the impact here in Kingswood. Furthermore I’ve written to the Police Commissioner to raise the issue of speed boats destroying the river bank.
“I’m going to push for action from all agencies that have the power and means to ensure these residents aren’t fearful of losing their properties and possessions again.”