Petition for Flood Inquiry Backed by Leanne in Senedd Committee
Written by Gavin on 30th September 2020
A petition to instigate an impartial investigation into successive floods in Rhondda Cynon Taf has moved a step closer to a full plenary debate.
The Rhondda Member of the Senedd, who sits on the petition committee, said the petition’s asks were much needed and deserved to be debated in the Siambr. The petition, which specifically called for an independent inquiry into this year’s flooding in Rhondda Cynon Taf so ‘that lessons are learned,’ was discussed after receiving the support of more than 5,000 signatures.
During the committee, Leanne said the testimonies from people affected by the floods were “heart-breaking.”
“The concern is that the current process is not sufficiently independent,” said Leanne. “It is the council effectively looking into itself – okay with partners – but all of those partners have various interests in the issue as well. There is an issue of public confidence in terms of independence of the Section 19 process.”
Leanne added: “It is also essential that people are listened to. The Section 19 will be a technical process and there won’t be much opportunity for the people who are affected to have an input into that process. It is really important those local voices are listened to because there is incredible local expertise within these communities.
“The final point I want to make is in relation to climate change. Everything we understood before has to be reviewed and re-looked into again in light of the changes we are being told by scientists are going to happen. It may well be that this flooding incident was relatively minor compared to what we can expect to see in the future.
“Future proofing our communities and ensuring that people are protected and are safe is absolutely vital. It is unacceptable that people,, every time it rains heavily, struggle to go to sleep because they are worried about water coming into their homes.”
Leanne then proposed that the petition be debated in a full plenary debate which was agreed on by fellow committee members.