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Storm Babet cost Conwy £1.5m in damage

Conwy County Council

STORM Babet cost Conwy County Council around £1.5m in damage, says the lead member for the environment, roads, and facilities.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Cllr Goronwy Edwards was talking about the authority having to reduce vital services to balance the books when he revealed the extent of the damage caused by the October storm.

Storm Babet wreaked havoc across North Wales when it hit between 18-21 October 2023, causing widespread damage, transport delays, and flooding.

Cllr Edwards’ comments follow the recent storms Isha and Jocelyn.

“Look at the storms we are having,” said Cllr Edwards.

“Who knows how much cost we’re going to have to pick up with some of these storms? I know that Storm Babet cost us about £1.5m. But it’s still uncertain whether we will get some funding from the Welsh Government towards that, and we are only in the middle of winter now.”

Conwy is currently investing millions of pounds into its sea defences, predicting an increase in extreme weather incidents increasing with global warming.

But Conwy ratepayers have been warned of an “uncomfortably high” council tax rise and a cut to school budgets as the authority faces a £25m black hole.

Consequently, the council has modelled for an 8%, 9%, 10%, or 11% council tax rise and has indicated school budgets could be cut by a further 6%. Conwy’s department heads have also been asked to identify further savings with a long list of service cuts already proposed.

These include removing litter bins from streets, closing public toilets, reducing grass cutting, slashing library opening hours, ceasing or reducing nappy collections, and increasing garden waste collection fees.