5th July 2022

Llanelli Online News

Llanelli's First For Hyperlocal News

CARWYN Jones’s response to the damage caused by Storm Callum “was less than acceptable”, the leader of Carmarthenshire Council has said.

Councillor Emlyn Dole said the First Minister visited the worst affected areas following last month’s storm, which led to widespread flooding in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

A spokesman for Mr Jones said the Welsh Government was working with councils to assess the full extent of damage “as was made clear” on his visit.

The council rapidly set up flood relief funds for householders and businesses whose properties were damaged, and has estimated that repairing roads and other infrastructure in Carmarthenshire will cost £3 million.

“The First Minister came down to see for himself what had happened and, to be honest, his response was less than acceptable,” said Cllr Dole, addressing a meeting of full council.

“I made an appeal for the financial support that we will need for the infrastructure, but his response was not one I expected from somebody in his position.

“Basically he criticised what we were doing and our efforts to look after the interests of Carmarthenshire people.

“As a leader my main priority was to ensure our people were okay and that they were safe, and that’s what we did do.”

The Plaid Cymru leader praised council officers for “going beyond what was required of them” in the aftermath of the storm.

Officers collected damaged furniture, tested electrics, deployed dehumidifiers and advised householders how to submit a claim for the £200 flood relief grants.

Cllr Dole said the council was still helping 67 businesses, which are able to claim 50% of clean-up and damage-related costs although conditions apply.

He said: “I really want to praise our teams across the departments, who have responded so well to this emergency.”

Cllr Dole said the storm caused £3 million to £4 million of damage to businesses in the county.

He again sent his condolences to the family of 21-year-old Corey Sharpling, of Newcastle Emlyn, who died as a result of a landslide on the A484 during the storm on October 13. This section of road, at Cwmduad, will be closed until the new year.

A spokesman for Mr Jones said: “As the First Minister made clear during his visit to Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, we are working with local Government to assess the full extent of damage caused and how much assistance is required.

“We will be making further statements once all the information has been collated.”

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