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Francis: Welsh communities suffer fresh flooding blow

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"Our sympathies go out to the people of the Conwy valley, who are suffering from the consequences of flooding for a second time in less than a year, and we sympathise with the financial implications that this will have for them in the future.

The damage is yet to be fully assessed, but, as you said, at Trefriw, where water entered properties at a rate of 2ft in 10 minutes, and where two rivers converge, cobs and flood defences were again breached.

There has been much local criticism and anger that those defences were inadequately reinforced and repaired last year. Will you give assurances that this work will be prioritised and carried out to a safe and satisfactory standard?

Householders at Trefriw have also reported that discussions with the Environment Agency last November revealed that an 85 per cent grant could have been made available to them to purchase special flood doors, which provide a seal when the water strikes, but that the 15 per cent shortfall in the grant could not be found by Conwy County Borough Council.

The doors were, therefore, not provided. Will you discuss with your colleagues the possibility of an increase in the revenue support grant for Conwy County Borough Council, which could go towards supporting a flood alleviation scheme for the entire valley?

Finally, you mentioned the railway line: following the £4.6 million that was spent last year on repairing the line, will you have discussions with Network Rail about future repairs, and will the standard of those repairs be commensurate with what is required, for example, by Alfred McAlpine's slate scheme to remove slate aggregates from Blaenau Ffestiniog, which is important for the area?

The railway is important for commuters and tourism in the area as well as industry, but it also provides a bulwark or defence against flooding for many of the properties that flank the line. Therefore, it is essential that repairs to the line are carried out posthaste."

"Estynnwn ein cydymdeimlad i bobl dyffryn Conwy, sy'n dioddef canlyniadau llifogydd am yr eildro o fewn llai na blwyddyn, a chydymdeimlwn â hwy oherwydd y goblygiadau ariannol a ddaw yn eu sgîl yn y dyfodol.

Nid yw'r difrod wedi'i asesu'n llawn eto, ond, fel y dywedasoch, yn Nhrefriw, lle y daeth 2 droedfedd o ddwr i mewn i adeiladau mewn 10 munud, a lle y daw dwy afon ynghyd, cafodd y cloddiau a'r amddiffynfeydd rhag llifogydd eu bylchu eto.

Cafwyd llawer o feirniadaeth a dicter yn lleol am fod y gwaith o atgyfnerthu ac atgyweirio'r amddiffynfeydd hynny y llynedd yn annigonol. A wnewch roi sicrwydd y bydd y gwaith hwn yn cael blaenoriaeth ac y caiff ei gyflawni at safon ddiogel a boddhaol?

Dywedodd deiliaid tai yn Nhrefriw hefyd eu bod wedi darganfod drwy drafodaethau a gawsant ag Asiantaeth yr Amgylchedd fis Tachwedd diwethaf y gellid bod wedi cynnig grant o 85 y cant iddynt i brynu drysau llifogydd arbennig, sy'n selio pan yw'r dwr yn taro, ond na allai Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy ddod o hyd i'r diffyg o 15 y cant yn y grant.

Oherwydd hynny, ni ddarparwyd y drysau. A wnewch drafod gyda'ch cyd-Weinidogion y posibilrwydd o roi swm ychwanegol yn y grant cynnal refeniw i Gyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy, y gellid ei roi tuag at gynnal cynllun lliniaru llifogydd ar gyfer y dyffryn cyfan?

Yn olaf, cyfeiriasoch at y rheilffordd: yn dilyn y £4.6 miliwn a wariwyd y llynedd ar atgyweiriadau, a wnewch gynnal trafodaethau â Network Rail ynghylch gwaith atgyweirio yn y dyfodol, ac a fydd safon yr atgyweiriadau hynny'n bodloni'r gofynion, er enghraifft, ar gyfer cynllun llechi Alfred McAlpine i gludo llechfeini mân o Flaenau Ffestiniog, gan fod hynny'n bwysig i'r ardal?

Mae'r rheilffordd yn bwysig i gymudwyr ac i dwristiaeth yn yr ardal yn ogystal â diwydiant, ond mae hefyd yn glawdd neu'n amddiffynfa rhag llifogydd i lawer o'r tai sydd wrth ochr y rheilffordd. Felly, mae'n bwysig gwneud gwaith atgyweirio ar y rheilffordd rhag blaen."

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