CALLS for an independent inquiry into flooding in Wales have been dismissed, once more, by first minister Mark Drakeford. 

The Labour leader was asked if he would consider establishing an inquiry following major flooding that hit large parts of Wales in 2020 including the Rhondda. 

Newly elected Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales Central, Heledd Fychan, asked about flood defences during first minister’s questions.

She asked: “Isn’t it time to consider an independent inquiry into all recent flooding in Wales? Government spending would then be targeted rather than reactive.” 

But Drakeford said the issue of an independent inquiry into flooding had been rejected by senedd members before the recent election, and he didn’t believe one should be held. 

He told the Plaid MS: “The previous Senedd had the opportunity to hear the case for an independent inquiry and didn’t agree and I don’t either. 

“Local authorities are focused on the practical things they can do.” 

Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge in early 2020 led to record rainfalls and the most widespread flooding in Wales since 1979 with Rhondda Cynon Taf one of the wors hit areas where 1,500 homes and businesses were impacted. Summer downpours also led to further flooding in Pentre in the Rhondda. 

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The first minister added a report into the flooding has been prepared and climate change minister Julie James is due to meet with Andrew Morgan the leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council and said a Law Commission report, due to be published tomorrow (Wednesday) will suggest any "future” law and how “we can do more to safeguard communities that have suffered as a result of floods”. 

“As a government we are focusing on the investment, the practical steps we can take to improve the situation for people and we don’t agree that we should allocate funding and time and take people out of that work to do things to respond to the independent report. We don’t think that that would be a great assistance to those local people.” 

Former Rhondda MS Leanne Wood used her debut column for The National to push for an independent inquiry into flooding – writing “only an independent public inquiry can establish the truth”. 

In December last year the Senedd rejected a call for an independent inquiry into flooding in Rhondda Cynon Taf after the Senedd petition committee asked members to consider a 6,000 signature petition collected by Fychan who was elected for the first time in May. 

The first minister also said since February 2020 the Welsh Government has spent more than £12 million on flood risk measures across the South Wales Central region including £3m on emergency repairs. 

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