Leader defends council over flood response after MS criticism
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
A council’s response to flooding caused by Storm Babet has been defended amid claims it was “complete chaos”.
Conwy Council’s leader Cllr Charlie McCoubrey responded to criticism from Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders in the wake of the severe weather conditions.
The Aberconwy MS said the council needed to work with emergency services to devise a proper strategy and pre-empt future floods in the town.
She claimed some residents resorted to trying to protect homes by placing towels under doors to hold flood water back in the Liddell Park, Oval, and Tre Creuddyn estate area.
She also said other residents were evacuated whilst some were trapped with no means of safe escape.
Cllr McCoubrey said the storm was extreme, affecting all parts of the UK.
“As news reports from across the UK showed, the conditions during Storm Babet were extreme,” he said.
“Emergency service and local authority partners across North Wales met regularly and worked closely throughout the day to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the weather conditions.
“All of our adverse incident plans are available to all partner agencies.
“Teams from our environment, roads, and facilities and housing services were out across the county throughout Friday and overnight into Saturday, with further resources mobilised from first light on Saturday, alongside contractors providing additional support.”
He added: “Our teams are continuing the clean-up effort and are carrying out inspections to fully assess the scale of the impact on infrastructure.”
Speaking earlier today Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders said: “It has been heart-breaking to see residents in a state of distress and feeling completely helpless in the midst of rising water.
“What I witnessed first-hand was complete chaos.
“Even I couldn’t get through to Conwy Council.
“I spoke to a firefighter who was unsure as to where best to be and was informed by North Wales Police that there was no plan to manage an incident like this in Llandudno.
“Many of us remember the 1993 flood.
“We trusted that lessons were learnt so to save the town from such devastation again.
“Clearly, public bodies had taken their eye off the ball and now need to put a flood management plan in place and communicate that to local residents.”
She added: “Everyone in Llandudno should be told what the strategy is should there be a similar flood again.”
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