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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.

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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."

Environment Agency draws up plans to cut flood risk

The Environment Agency is drawing up plans for flood reduction measures in the Upper Calder Valley. £3 million is to be spent in the autumn on works which will last two years to avoid scenes like in Walsden last month.

“The Environment Agency and Calderdale Council are working together with local flood groups and other organisations to develop affordable and technically feasible solutions to deal with flooding from all sources. We are drawing up detailed designs for a variety of flood alleviation measures across the Calder Valley. Local knowledge and the feedback we have received from the Calder Valley communities worst affected by flooding means we can target specific locations where the money spent will have the greatest benefit.”

– Oliver Harmar, Environment Agency

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Flood insurance: MPs response

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh has responded to the announcement of a new deal on flood insurance with insurers.

People in areas of high flood risk are being hit now with higher insurance premiums and excesses because incompetent Ministers have failed over the last three years to get a deal with the insurance industry. The process announced today is fraught with difficulties and may not be completed by the time of the next election. The Government’s proposals raise serious questions about how much all householders will pay into the Flood Re scheme, the affordability of flood insurance and who picks up the bill in the event of a catastrophic flood.

– Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary,

Environment bosses visit flood hit Calder Valley

Devastating floods in Hebden Bridge last year Credit: John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Environment bosses are visiting parts of the Calder Valley today to see how town's and villages are recovering from last summer's floods. It's hoped the trip will help the council plan for heavy downpours in the future.

Video: Further calls to provide flooding insurance

On the eve of the first annivearsary of the devastating floods in the Calder Valley an urgent call is being made to ensure those in flood hit areas can get insurance.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh - the Shadow Environment Secretary - says the Government must reach an agreement soon with the insurance industry before time runs out.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were devasated by last summers flash floods. Some insurance premiums have soared - so have the excess clauses on some policies. Chris Kiddey reports.

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