Storm Ciara day 2: MP pledges 'urgent' support for Ribble Valley's storm-hit communities

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans visited the flood-stricken communities of Whalley, Billington and Ribchester yesterday and is urging the Government to protect the properties more at risk by speeding up the process of flood defences.
MP Nigel Evans toured the flooded areas yesterdayMP Nigel Evans toured the flooded areas yesterday
MP Nigel Evans toured the flooded areas yesterday

In a statement released to the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, he said: “These were devastating floods that have brought huge damage on households and businesses in Whalley and Ribchester in the Ribble Valley, and throughout other areas of the UK. Indeed the Met Office have dubbed it the ‘Storm of the Century’. But the Government needs to act quickly to protect those properties most at risk, and to respond generously to ensure that those who have been hit are given support with urgency.

"This is the second time in four years that these areas have been hit, which is debilitating beyond words to those affected. The Government needs to work with local flood action groups and relevant bodies to ensure that there is greater resilience at times of high water levels.

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"I have already spoken with the Environment and Local Government Ministers to see what actions can be taken to ensure that work is accelerated to improve flood defenses, and to ask that all necessary support be given to those affected. I visited Whalley just after the floodwater had receded, and Ribchester later in the day. I pay tribute to the staff members from Ribble Valley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council for their actions in helping those affected, and staff members from other organisations such as United Utilities and Electricity North West."

He added: "Most impressive of all are the actions of the army of dedicated community volunteers, who took to the streets to ensure that everyone felt safe and that they were all cared for. "Moments like this see communities banding together, as we saw with the housing of affected residents by local businesses such as The Swan Pub and Mytton Fold Hotel. Furthermore, the help provided at Whalley Village Hall and Billington Brass Band Working Men’s club exemplifies this community spirit.

"Going forward I will continue to do all I can to ensure that those who need help in the short term get it, but also to try and further reduce the risk of this happening again in the future.”