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Newly-elected South Wales Central MS calls for independent enquiry in 2020 floods

 

One of three new Members of the Senedd for South Wales Central has told Bro Radio that her first priority will be an independent enquiry into the 2020 floods in Pontypridd, Sully and Dinas Powys.

Plaid Cymru MS Heledd Fychan told Bro Radio’s Vale this Week that she would like to see the Welsh Government “look at what went wrong and why” in order to “better protect homes and businesses in the future”.

The new South Wales Central member, who campaigned to save the Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd in 2018, wants to understand why the area has had “such awful flooding”.

It comes over a year after Storm Dennis brought historic flooding to Pontypridd in January 2020 and further heavy rain brought flooding to Sully, Dinas Powys and surrounding areas in December 2020, just days before Christmas.

Flooding in a property in Sully – December 2020

2020 saw some of the worst flooding to hit parts of Wales in 40 years, as homes and businesses across the region were left devastated by extreme weather.

In December, downpours on Christmas Eve saw South Wales Fire and Rescue Service deal with 500 calls in a matter of hours.

Ms Fychan dealt with severe flooding as a Councillor in Pontypridd and is leading calls for an independent enquiry.

Her election comes as environmental campaign group XR Cardiff accused the Welsh Government of “not taking the action it promised in the Paris agreement of 2015 to reduce greenhouse gases”.

“We know with a climate emergency that flooding is going to become far more frequent,” Ms Fychan told Bro Radio.

“We need to understand why that is the case and what homes and businesses are at risk.

“That’s why I’ve been pushing for that independent enquiry to see, do we have the resources and the staff in the right places to be able to cope with this.”

Ms Fychan said that the devastation across different parts of South Wales Central meant “we need action” and that extreme weather had already cost the Welsh Government and councils hundreds of millions of pounds.

“So many people can’t get insurance now because their homes and businesses are at risk.

“Unless we have that national conversation and agree what the steps and investment that are needed to address this, then people are going to be living in fear. Every time it rains heavily now, they are going to be worried sick that their homes or businesses are at risk. And we can’t promise to them that they won’t be flooded again.”

“And for me that’s an unacceptable situation and Welsh Government should be doing more to address it.”

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