Liberal Democrats push to make flood recovery process more transparent

Calderdale Council is to look at making information easily available to local people so they can see what progress has been made on flood protection issues.

Over one year on from the floods and many people are concerned that Calderdale Council has not done enough to ensure we are resistant to future flooding problems. By publishing the recovery plan online in an easy accessible and simple format members of the public would be able to track some of the good work that has already happened and what is planned for the future.

Cllr Janet Battye (Calder), Leader of Calderdale Council Liberal Democrat Group said: “We suggested a simple traffic light system is published on the Council’s website, this would enable people to see where the Council has hit its targets for planned works and where problems have resulted in delays. By making the recovery process more transparent people will be kept better informed, and be better able to hold their Council to account.

The   Economy and Environment scrutiny panel agreed to recommend that the Council investigates implementing such as system.

Lib Dem motion to suspend Mytholmroyd car park fees defeated

Calderdale Liberal Democrats have called for a suspension of plans to introduce car parking fees in Mytholmroyd.  Deputy Group leader of the Liberal Democrats Councillor James Baker put forward a motion on the Economy and Environment Scrutiny panel asking that plans to introduce parking fees are shelved in light of the ongoing difficulties faced by businesses struggling to recover from the floods.

The move follows previous efforts by Luddendenfoot ward Councillor John Beacroft-Mitchell to get the charges suspended due to the exceptional economic circumstances faced by flood hit Mytholmroyd. Unfortunately though the Labour group who run Calderdale Council are seeking to push ahead with the plans. This has sparked outrage from local residents, and businesses who are opposed to the plan.

Commenting Councillor James Baker said

“Mytholmroyd has a set of exceptional circumstances, it has a small row of shops that were severely affected by the floods and a lack of any other free parking spaces. These charges will add to the cost of living for residents  and deter people from using local shops.”

Labour ward Councillor and Conservative Chair oppose the motion

The motion was opposed by Councillor Simon Young the Labour Councillor who is meant to stand up for people in Mytholmroyd, and the Conservative Chair of the committee. This was particularly disappointing following the Conservative’s previously expressed opposition to the parking plans. A motion from the panel would have helped the campaign to drop the charges.

Campaign against charges goes on

The Hebden Bridge Times has reported on the campaign against the charges. Liberal Democrats Councillors Tony Hodgins and Christine Bampton-Smith have been working with Royd regeneration in opposing the plans, and helping to inform local residents about them. They were successful in persuading Hebden Royd Town Council to oppose the plans, and write with their objections to Calderdale Council.

Councillor Tony Hodgins said:

“Royd Regeneration wants the best for the shops and it just seems like this is a backward step.”

Time for  a re-think

Calderdale Council needs to cover the costs of its car parks. However we must acknowledge the exceptional circumstances facing some areas  in Calderdale that have been affected by flooding. Shops in Mytholmroyd are really struggling, and desperately need our support to help build a stronger economy so they can get on in life. In light of  the ongoing flood recovery it’s simply not tenable to proceed with plans to impose car parking fees on these communities.