Vulnerable residents still without power and aid after Dales flooding

The clean up operation at the Dales Bike Centre.

Volunteers say they are still finding residents in remote parts of the Dales who are living without power and have not received assistance following Tuesday’s floods.

Members of a community-led relief effort are using on-line maps to ensure they have not missed anyone in their efforts to check residents are okay.

This morning, locals have urged the local authorities to do more to assist the relief effort and have asked for council staff to work from Reeth memorial hall, which has become a hub for the community relief work.

The volunteers said this morning that no senior council staff member or councillor had visited Reeth to inspect the damage and talk to those coordinating the relief effort.

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak was due to attend yesterday but left after visiting Fremington.

Mum-of-three Toni Calvert, who is helping to coordinate the relief effort, said they had taken aid to a 92-year-old woman whose home had been flooded in Arkengarthdale yesterday who was still in damp clothing.

They are also trying to provide as assistance to an elderly farmer whose property has been flooded but has yet to receive any assistance.

She added: “The thing is these aren’t the only people who have yet to get help.

“We can do what we can but we need more help.”

Toni said she was contacted by the chief executive of the district council Tony Clark late last night and she outlined her concerns that not enough assistance was being provided.

“Its madness that the council aren’t even aware that people are still cut off and have been left with nothing.

“There are little old dealers who are swamped out. How are we supposed to provide long term help them?

“There are serious welfare issues which are not being addressed.

“Where are the social workers we were told were coming?

“We need a council hot desk in the memorial hall working with us now.”

District council volunteers and staff have been knocking on doors speaking to those affected to find out what help they need in some areas.

It is understood Richmondshire police are also visiting isolated properties to check on residents.

However, Toni said the remote farms and properties had not been visited by any officials.

“These people are stoic and set in their ways. If a council worker turns up with a clipboard they aren’t going to say they need help, but they will take help from someone they know. That;s why they need to work with us.”

Toni said emergency generators were being provided by Northern Powergrid, however those without power must call 105 to register for appliance.

“They must stress the urgency and tell them if they’re elderly or infirm or have children in the house so that they get priority,” she added.

By Thursday night, no senior councillor, senior council staff member or the MP had got as far as Reeth to talk in person to those leading the relief effort at the memorial hall.

Cllr Richard Good is the district councillor for Lower Swaledale and Arkengarthdale and has been helping with the relief effort.

He accepted this morning that the council’s response had not been quick enough.

However, he said he had been working long hours to help.

“Please don’t think nobody is doing anything.

“Those in the memorial are doing a fantastic job. A lot is going on behind the scenes but you don’t always see it.

“I’m doing as much as I can but I agree we could have had things quicker. I want it to happen faster than it is.

“Rishi flew in and then out again yesterday. I wanted him to go up Arkengarthdale to see the problems there but he didn’t.”

Over the weekend volunteers from the Richmond pride team are due to help the relief effort in the Dales.

Members of volunteer Muslim group One Nation are also expected to come and help.

We want all the help we can get. Stuart Parsons and Richmond Pride.

The district council office at Hudson House is due to open today at 10am. Cllr Good said the facility would remain open all next week.

Several fundraising appeals have been launched to help those affected by the floods. One started by the Ard Rock mountain bike event organisers, which was cancelled due to the flood, now exceeds £27,000.

For details on the local fundraising appeal and details of the community relief effort, including ways to help, click here.


  1. Where’s Sunak gone then? He hadn’t even brought a spade, nor offered any help from himself.

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