'It's heartbreaking' says Chesterfield MP as he hopes to secure funding from council and government to support flood victims
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Mr Perkins has visited various areas across Chesterfield after Storm Babet left parts of the town under water.
He spoke to the Environment Agency and arranged for the water to be pumped out of Tapton Terrace, where an elderly woman was found dead. Mr Perkins said: “It is heartbreaking that a woman in her eighties died during Friday’s flooding. I spoke to her family briefly. There must be a full investigation into this tragedy, including whether any more can be done to prevent this area flooding again.
"Despite Wingerworth remediation and pumps and flood gates, heartbreakingly Tapton Terrace has once again experienced the worst flooding of anywhere. Other areas in the town have been badly affected as well.
"I spent a lot of time this weekend visiting the flooded areas and speaking to people. They said it was important for them to see that someone wanted to support them in this difficult situation.
"People are very upset because they have been flooded again. The flood remediation efforts that were put in place after the 2007 floods have not really worked. The River Rother remediation scheme may have delayed it a bit, but it didn’t prevent the flood."
The MP has also been involved in setting up the Chesterfield Flood Victims Appeal – which has already raised over £25k for the vicitms.
Mr Perkins, who met with National Grid engineers to clarify electricity situation in the flooded Birdholme area that was left without power, added: “I’m grateful for the help of the Lifehouse church, who have been amazing – and of the council. They swiftly set up the rest centre in Queen’s Park on Friday, and we managed to secure temporary accommodation for everyone in the centre on Saturday – either in hotels or with family and friends. No one spent there more than one night there.”Mr Perkins believes that much more needs to be done to support victims of the Chesterfield short term – and to prevent situations like this in the future.
He said: “Firstly we need to support people right now – some will need to be rehoused, some will need support as their belongings have been damaged. Many people have not been able to be insured because they live in a flood area. I’m very thankful for all donations for the Flood Victims Appeal. We have already raised over £25 000. We will be looking to distribute that to people who need support the most, while we will continue our fundraising.
“Apart from this, as an MP I will ask the government and the council if they can provide funds for people who have been flooded. In 2007 all flood victims got a payment. Secondly, I will be asking the government to provide support for the council, who have now extra costs that they didn’t have before yesterday. And finally, I will be asking for an investigation to asses why people have been flooded again and what can be done to protect Chesterfield from floods in the future.”