FLOOD

Wed, Jul 11, 2007

flooding, local news

During the months of June and July there was wide spread flooding in Hull and other parts of Yorkshire. My constituency of Hull West and Hessle has seen the tragic death of Michael Barnett and there has been extensive damage. Many of my constituents living with the result of the bad weather on a day to day basis are receiving help from me and my office on specific problems they are experiencing. I have met with residents of Astral Close in Hessle where the tragic death occurred and am in touch with Michael’s father.

I have visited some of the worst hit areas in Hull West and Hessle and left contact details. If you are a constituent of mine and need help with a specific problem please do not hesitate to contact my Constituency Office on 01482 219211.

monic-avenueI wrote to Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for Department of the Environment, food and rural Affairs and to Hazel blears MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government after assessing the situation during the first weekend after the floods to ensure Hull wasn’t overlooked and that we receive the attention we need and deserve. Copies of these letters are at the bottom of this page.

I have also met with all the emergency services, the two local authorities and the voluntary sector to discuss the lessons learned. I have also written to the Association of British Insurers about the need for prompt action by assessors and the problems people are having in getting house insurance in Hull West and Hessle.

If you have any questions that cannot be answered on the websites for Hull City Council, www.hullcc.gov.uk or East Riding of Yorkshire Council, www.eastriding.gov.uk then use the national flood line number: 0845 988 1188 or access their information on www.floodforum.org.uk. If you need to contact me you can use the contact page on this website or e-mail me on johnsona@parliament.uk.

For the Personal Attention of:
Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP
Secretary of State, DEFRA
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London,
SW1P 3JR

Dear Hilary,

Having been in Hull over the weekend and seen for myself the damage caused by last week’s floods, I am writing to record my concerns about the scale of the devastation and the efforts that will be required to ensure that the city can recover from the appalling blow.

An initial and very conservative estimate of the number of houses affected by flood damage is around 10,000. I am told that this is likely to increase substantially and could be doubled when all the information has been collated across the city. Even if the figure stayed at 10,000 it would mean that Hull has been more adversely affected than any other city in Yorkshire.

Most of these houses will be uninhabitable and it is estimated that the time necessary before residents can move back in roughly equates to a month for every inch of water. This means that for the majority it will be nine months before their houses will be habitable again.

This presents huge challenges in terms of temporary accommodation and of course getting the necessary resources to dry out, disinfect and repair council dwellings, as well as helping those in private accommodation.

It’s estimated that there is around 350 tons of rubbish to clear and a whole host of problems concerning the public infrastructure. For instance, Sydney Smith Secondary School in my constituency is completely flooded out and it will be impossible for children to attend the school for many months.

Whilst there has been a real sense of community spirit and this has helped to carry people through the dreadful events of the last week, you will appreciate that people will become increasingly frustrated if there is not a sense of urgent action and momentum from all the agencies, including of course the Government.

Many of my constituents will need help with psychological and mental problems caused by this trauma. I think it’s also safe to assume that a large proportion of the furniture and equipment damaged in the floods will not have been insured, which means a role for DWP in allocating crisis grants etc.

The City Council and all its agencies have worked flat out to cope with this crisis, but I have to say from my assessment of the situation, the Bellwin Formula will be inadequate in meeting the need for additional resources.

John, Diana and myself would very much like to meet you to discuss this issue. I understand that Hazel is due to visit Hull on Friday. Such a visit would be very welcome and we would of course want to be fully involved in the arrangements for coming to our constituencies.

Unlike John and Diana, I have a part of the East Riding in my constituency – Hessle – which was the scene of the most tragic incident during the floods. There will I know be a separate inquiry into the tragic death of my constituent, Michael Barnett, but the need for help to recover from the awful effects of the flooding are as relevant for Hessle and East Riding of Yorkshire Council as much as for Hull.

Yours sincerely,
Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP

For the Personal Attention of:
Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP
Secretary of State, DCLG
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London,
SW1E 5DU

Dear Hazel,

Having been in Hull over the weekend and seen for myself the damage caused by last week’s floods, I am writing to record my concerns about the scale of the devastation and the efforts that will be required to ensure that the city can recover from this appalling blow.

An initial and very conservative estimate of the number of houses affected by flood damage is around 10,000. I am told that this is likely to increase substantially and could be doubled when all the information has been collated across the city. Even if the figure stayed at 10,000 it would mean that Hull has been more adversely affected than any other city in Yorkshire.

Most of these houses will be uninhabitable and it is estimated that the time necessary before residents can move back in roughly equates to a month for every inch of water. This means that for the majority it will be nine months before their houses will be habitable again.

This presents huge challenges in terms of temporary accommodation and of course getting the necessary resources to dry out, disinfect and repair council dwellings, as well as helping those in private accommodation.

It’s estimated that there is around 350 tons of rubbish to clear and a whole host of problems concerning the public infrastructure. For instance, Sydney Smith Secondary School in my constituency is completely flooded out and it will be impossible for children to attend the school for many months.

Whilst there has been a real sense of community spirit and this has helped to carry people through the dreadful events of the last week, you will appreciate that people will become increasingly frustrated if there is not a sense of urgent action and momentum from all the agencies, including of course the Government.

Many of my constituents will need help with psychological and mental problems caused by this trauma. I think it’s also safe to assume that a large proportion of the furniture and equipment damaged in the floods will not have been insured, which means a role for DWP in allocating crisis grants etc.

The City Council and all its agencies have worked flat out to cope with this crisis, but I have to say from my assessment of the situation, the Bellwin Formula will be inadequate in meeting the need for additional resources.

John, Diana and myself would very much like to meet you to discuss this issue. I understand that you are due to visit Hull on Friday. Such a visit will be very welcome and we will of course want to be fully involved in the arrangements for coming to our constituencies.

Unlike John and Diana, I have a part of the East Riding in my constituency – Hessle – which was the scene of the most tragic incident during the floods. There will I know be a separate inquiry into the tragic death of my constituent, Michael Barnett, but the need for help to recover from the awful effects of the flooding are as relevant for Hessle and East Riding of Yorkshire Council as much as for Hull.

Yours sincerely,
Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP

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