COUNCILLORS have decided to boost the funding pot for flood victims by £250,000.
Calderdale’s Cabinet said they would draw £200,000 from the authority’s Economic Fighting Fund which will be used to help flood-hit businesses get back on their feet.
A further £50,000 will be donated to the Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC), which will be used to help homeowners affected by the torrential flooding.
Monday’s cloudburst over Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd resulted in a month’s worth of rain (44mm) falling on a very concentrated area in just three hours.
The sheer volume of water coming down from the hills led to drains in the town being overwhelmed and localised flooding in the centre of town and in outlying villages.
Clr Tim Swift said at this week’s Cabinet meeting: “The flooding that has taken place in this area is quite without precedent in its speed and in the number of areas affected.
“The events of more than a fortnight ago were bad enough, but it’s returned with flash flooding which has been a real kick in the teeth.”
The Recovery Investment for a Stronger Economy (RISE) Fund will be drawn from the Council’s Economic Fighting Fund.
It will initially be used to provide short-term help to get businesses back up and running, but will also consider longer-term support to ensure that the businesses are sustainable.
Clr Janet Battye, the council’s deputy leader, added: “My heart goes out to the shops and businesses in the middle of Hebden Bridge and elsewhere who have had matters made worse this week.
“The community has been remarkable in the way they have dealt with this.”
Clr Barry Collins, Cabinet member for economy and environment, said: “The council has proposed to allocate £50,000 which will be put into CFFC (Community Foundation for Calderdale) who are dealing with applications for emergency funds.
“As far as we understand they’ve already distributed £34,000 to individual people in different parts of the Colne Valley.
“The other £200,000 will be used for business support – we’ll be working with businesses affected in the Upper Valley and also Brighouse and Elland, wherever has been affected by the flooding, to make sure that they can make use of this funding to help them get back up and running.”
Clr Ashley Evans called on the council to minimise red tape to get funding to people right away to get the best use of it.
Calderdale Council has already been supporting businesses through clearing up, providing environmental health and safety advice.
Upper Valley Neighbourhood Police say that the council and highways teams have removed nearly 500 tonnes of rubble from the roads after the flooding first hit on June 22.
Clr Swift added: “While many businesses in the Calder Valley have already re-opened, there are some that are in real need of practical and financial help.
“And many that are now trading again still need help to ensure that they are viable in the longer term”.