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Residents in flood-hit Calder Valley urged to stay safe

West Yorkshire Police are continuing to coordinate with partners in local authorities and other emergency services regarding today's severe weather in the region.

Several road closures have been in place in the region as a result of heavy rain and flooding, with the majority in the Calderdale area.

Roads affected by flooding include the A646 running along the River Calder, the A629 from Halifax and the A61 at Harewood Bridge.

Residents are being urged to take note of weather warnings in place in West Yorkshire and to check on helplines and websites if they have concerns about flooding or road conditions.

Communities in Hebden Bridge, Mythamroyd and Sowerby Bridge are among the areas most affected by flooding disruption and emergency services are working in partnership in these and other locations.

Residents whose properties have been flooded are being advised to go to stay in their homes if possible and to go to the upstairs of their properties. If they are in danger then they should ring 101 and not try and evacuate themselves.

They are also being advised to stay safe, and not to drive on roads which have been closed due to flooding and not to stand at the edge of rising flood waters.

Rest centres have been set up in Halifax town centre, at Todmorden Town Hall and Keighley Leisure Centre and flood levels are being monitored on the ground.

Those who live near waterways who are concerned about flooding in their areas should check the Environment Agency floodline on 0345 988 1188.

Updates can also be found on the Environment Agency webpage at http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood/31618.aspx where residents can enter details of where they live to check the latest flood warnings.

Specific details of the latest flooding situation and road closures in Calderdale can be found at the eyeoncalderdale website at http://eyeoncalderdale.com

"The severe rainfall we have experienced has clearly brought disruption to West Yorkshire and police are working to support partners in local authorities, fire service and environment agency to manage the situation.

"Our advice is that if your property has experienced flooding, please stay in your homes and go upstairs, If you feel you are in danger then ring 101, please do not try and leave through flood waters yourself.

"We continue to urge drivers to use caution when on the roads and not to try and drive through clearly flooded areas.

"Emergency services are closely monitoring river levels as the day progresses and are all working very closely on the ground to manage the situation as it develops."

– Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, West Yorkshire Police

Calder Valley: If you don't win, sing

Protest singer, and defeated candidate for Calder Valley, Joe Stead, took up his banjo following the declaration of the constituency's result.

Joe Stead breaks into song following the declaration

His fun was cut short however, by the returning officer.

Craig Whittaker held the seat for the Tories with 23,354 votes, while Stead, representing the World Peace Through Song party gained only 165 votes:

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Huge crowd turns out to protest over A & E closure plans

Packed room at North Bridge Leisure Centre Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Hundreds of protestors have packed into Nothbridge Leisure Centre in Halifax to show their opposition to plans to close Calderdale's A & E. Halifax MP Linda Riordan said she wants to send a clear message to health bosses of the strength of feeling against the proposed changes.

Plans to close Calderdale A&E are "not final"

"Plans to close Calderdale's A&E unit have not been finalised - and will be discussed with members of the public, according to the commissioning group tasked with finding £50m in savings.

A protest against the possible closure will take place this afternoon at the North Bridge Leisure Centre.

We welcome the views of local people on the possible way forward for health and social care across Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield. "We are keen to hear people's views about the future wherever and however they are expressed. This will help to identify the real options for change which will be subject to a full public consultation later this year.

"We have been working with and listening to patients and local people for almost two years which has shaped the overall direction of travel towards more and better services being provided in or close to people's homes.

"Over the coming few months we will be rolling out our own engagement programme which will include dozens of meetings with a range of interested groups, roadshows and drop-in sessions with health and social care professionals."

– Spokesman for the West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit

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Protest at plans to close Calderdale A&E

A huge crowd is expected to turn out today for a protest against plans to close Calderdale's A&E.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan has called for residents to “come out in force” at what she calls the "biggest issue facing Halifax since the banking crisis threatened to rip the heart out of the town".

The plans have been put forward by an NHS commissioning group - the West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit.

The proposals include options to downgrade either Halifax or Huddersfield’s casualty service - but downgrading Calderdale Royal Hospital's service is the preferred option.

Protestors walk over hospital downgrade plans

Campaigners took their fight to save accident and emergency services in Halifax to the streets today. They walked 20 miles from Todmorden to Huddersfield.

That's the distance they say some in the Calder Valley would have to travel to receive emergency care if plans to downgrade A and E in Halifax go ahead. Chris Kiddey reports.

Protestors walk 20 miles over controversial hospital plans

Protestors get read for their campaign walk Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Protestors who fear for the future of accident and emergency services in the Calder Valley are walking 20 miles from Todmorden to Huddersfield today.

They say changes could lead to the closure of the A & E department at Calderdale Royal Hospital - and services transferred to Huddersfield instead . The protest walk us being led by Josh Fenton-Glynn, Labour's parliamentary candidate for the Calder Valley.

River turns orange

The Environment Agency has been investigating after residents in the Calder Valley noticed the water in the River Calder had turned orange. Some residents had voiced concerns about chemicals, but the Environment Agency believes this to be a natural occurrence instead.

The orange River Calder Credit: Rod Dixon

A spokesperson said:

“We have identified the discoloured water as coming from an old coal mine in the hills above Portsmouth, in Calderdale.

“Drainage shafts associated with old mines are known to occasionally release water that is high in iron content, leaving the water a bright orange, or rusty colour. This happens infrequently and is not considered to pose a significant environmental problem, apart from the odd, bright colour.

"The river usually clears itself of the discolouration within a couple of days."

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