Councillors at odds over floods policy

COUNCILLORS are at odds over the “politicisation” of efforts to protect the district from flooding.

Separate motions from Labour and the Conservatives were proposed at a meeting on Wednesday.

Labour called for more Government spending and for the UK to bid for EU funding.

But the Tories want Kirklees to draw up plans with agencies which could lead to more local grant applications.

Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) accused Labour of offering no measures for the council to take.

He said of Labour’s offering: “It’s less complacency from them and more pure politicking. They’ve probably seen stories in the papers where I’ve called for action and thought to themselves ‘quick, we must do something as well’. But if you don’t have a plan for what you want to do it’s unlikely anybody will give you any money.”

The Tories asked for a review of the council’s 2013 flood risk management strategy. They also want public, private and statutory bodies regionally and nationally consulted on flood resilience.

This would form a new plan which Tories would submit for Government and EU funding.

Labour’s motion called on the Government to increase spending on flood defences in the region and apply for EU help.

Coun Bolt said: “There’s nothing pro-active. You can’t stand at Mirfield and just wish the problem away.

“Anybody who tries that would be like King Canute – you need to look at problems along the River Calder to Hebden Bridge and Wakefield.”

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