Ross-on-Wye flash floods need long-term solution, says MP

Ross-on-Wye flash floods need long-term solution, says MP
Ross-on-Wye flash floods need long-term solution, says MP
Image caption, Jesse Norman has called for long-term solutions over simply “patching” the roads in Ross-on-Wye
Article information
  • Author, Elliot Ball
  • Role, BBC News, West Midlands
  • 14 May 2024

An MP has called for a long-term solution to prevent further flash flooding in Ross-on-Wye.

On Sunday, the road surface and pavements came apart on Broad Street during torrential rainfall, while on Brookend Street businesses were flooded.

Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, said: “I do think there is a serious question here about whether or not it is right to just be patching the road.”

An emergency meeting was held between Herefordshire Council and its contractor Balfour Beatty on Monday in an attempt to ascertain what caused the flood.

Problems began when the storm, combined with ongoing town center works, led to drainage issues, meaning surface water run-off could not be handled.

Speaking to BBC Hereford & Worcester, Mr Norman said he would be appealing to central government for Bellwin funding – emergency financial assistance for local authorities.

He said: “What really matters is being in there talking to ministers, talking to civil servants and making the argument.

“And I will be doing that on the Bellwin front, specifically, this week.”

Image caption, The flooding caused extensive damage to the road

Mr Norman added: “This [flood] has been a particularly bad one and we need to get to the bottom of exactly why it has been so bad.”

Addressing the concerns of local traders, the MP also said he would be “fighting the corner” for business owners who are demanding compensation from Herefordshire Council.

Councilor Ed O’Driscoll took to Facebook to inform residents that Broad Street would likely remain closed after he claimed Welsh Water had managed to damage a supply pipe while carrying out emergency repairs.

“The broken sewer is now exposed but I am told it is also damaged further up Broad Street and an additional area will have to be excavated later today,” he said.

A spokesperson for Welsh Water told the BBC that it had been “investigating a partial obstruction on a pipe” on Brookend Street.

“We have been undertaking repair work to the pipe to help get things back to normal as quickly as possible,” he said.

“Our team worked into last night and from early this morning and will continue on site until this is completed.”

When asked about Mr O’Driscoll’s comments the spokesperson said: “We are sorry if any comments made relating to information to put on social media have caused confusion.”

The BBC has also approached Herefordshire Council for comment.

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