Skewen Incident Updates

Coal Authority Update for residents - Friday 26 February

This briefing contains the latest update for residents from the Coal Authority. Previous briefings, FAQs and wider information is available at NPT website - https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewen. This is a longer briefing than normal as we’ve included information based on some of the questions we were asked at the street meetings this week.

Community liaison
We have recruited a local Community Liaison Officer to support residents through the duration of the Coal Authority work on site. Melanie Beynon will be on site from Monday 1 March and will be based from our Covid-19 secure temporary office at 37 Goshen Park. Melanie will work Monday, Tuesday and a half day on Wednesday - with some other flexibility where she is able. You can contact Melanie Beynon or do speak with her when she is walking around the area. To ensure that we can manage the temporary office at 37 Goshen Park in a Covid- 19 secure way, it is best to make an appointment either to visit in person or to arrange a drop in if Melanie is able. You can do this by calling our Skewen Residents’ Helpline on 0800 2884268 or emailing customerservice@coal.gov.uk. Our Skewen Residents’ Helpline continues to be available Monday-Friday 9-5pm to discuss any questions or to book clean-up work or other support. This helpline will remain open for 12 months or until all work on site has been completed and everyone who has been affected by this incident returns home.

Street meetings
This week we have held 3 residents street meetings, chaired by Councillor Mike Harvey. These were grouped based on resident feedback as follows:

  • Tuesday 23 February – residents from Goshen Park, Sunnyland Crescent, The Highlands and Highland Close who had been flooded
  • Wednesday 24 February – residents from Dynevor Road and Jubilee Crescent
  • Thursday 25 February - residents from Goshen Park, Sunnyland Crescent, The Highlands and Highland Close who had been flooded


The meetings were to answer any additional questions that had not been covered at the resident’s public meeting on 4 February and any new questions that have arisen since. Thank you for attending and for your honest feedback and questions. The recordings from these calls are available. Secure access to view this can be obtained by calling
our residents helpline on 0800 2884268 or emailing customerservice@coal.gov.uk. Due to data protection legislation we can only provide the relevant recording to the residents from the specific group. We are working through the requests for the meeting recordings as quickly as we can alongside co-ordinating the clean-up and other practical support on the ground.

Support with clean-up and garden reinstatement
While not liable for the flooding we do recognise the impacts of the incident on the community and we are working with partners to do all we can to provide practical help and support. This includes help with clean-up (including private drain clearance) and £500 of materials (plus VAT and labour) to support the reinstatement of your gardens. The details of our policy of support can be seen here.

This week our clean-up crews have mainly been at Goshen Park and Dynevor Road removing the debris, sludge and mud and work has started at Jubilee Crescent. A second phase of clean-up will start at Sunnyland Crescent next week.

We have expanded our clean-up support to include private drain clearance. This includes initial drain rodding and a full drain jetting and cleanse when the initial clean-up work has been completed. We continue to work with residents who were flooded at Goshen Park and have surface water soakaways which are not working effectively. Replacing these requires permission from Neath Port Talbot Council and we are in discussions with them. Temporary fixes and support are being offered in the meantime. We cannot undertake clean-up works or drain clearance without your specific permission. If you would like this support and have not already given permission, then please contact our residents helpline on 0800 2884268 or by emailing customerservice@coal.gov.uk.

If you would like to take up our offer of support with garden reinstatement, in line with the support policy, then please complete our online form, call our residents helpline, or talk to a member of Coal Authority staff on site. We can confirm that the £500 can be used for materials such as garden fencing, grass, gravel etc., towards the replacement of garden furniture or outdoor play equipment or towards a wider repair (such as a driveway). Further advice, and confirmation on what receipts / invoices are needed if our contractors are not purchasing the materials directly, can be provided by our residents’ helpline. We have confirmed that our clean-up and garden reinstatement support policy will remain in place for 12 months to allow those who will be out of their homes for longer to access it as needed. If you think this may apply to you please let the residents’ helpline know so that we can follow up later and ensure that the support is provided for you.

Remediation work on site
Virgin media have completed moving the broadband services at the Goshen Park Junction this week and we have established our contractor compound. We can now start further excavations of the collapse zone. While the services have been relocated we have been doing significant work in the background to progress options for the mine water management scheme, working with partners, contractors and others. We are also working with Neath Port Talbot Council, Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales to share drainage plans and information across the mountain and wider area to ensure that we collectively understand all aspects of water management in the area. We do know that the majority of the new mine water management scheme will be underground. Any features above ground will be carefully designed and landscaped to minimise any impact. As soon as we have final options and plans for the mine water management system we will hold a further online residents’ meeting to share maps and visuals. We will also make information and visuals available at our temporary office at 37 Goshen Park.

Support for discussions with insurance and mortgage companies
We are aware that some people have experienced issues with increased insurance renewal premiums and we are doing what we can to help. This includes meeting with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) this week to explain what has happened and confirm the exceptional nature of the incident.

We will provide each household with a pack of information in the weeks ahead which will include detail about the specific and unusual nature of what happened and detail the specifics and investment of the new mine water management scheme. This will include Coal Authority contact details and can be used in perpetuity with insurance companies, mortgage providers and others. We cannot provide this pack until the specific plans for the mine water treatment plan are confirmed. In the meantime we are very happy to support discussions on renewals or remortgaging to provide context and information. We do this regularly with insurers and mortgage providers on subsidence. Please contact the residents’ helpline if we can support you in this way.

Viewing Coal Authority plans of the area and seeing the Mining Report for your property
A number of residents have asked if they can see the coal mining information that we have of the area. This information is available to everyone online, on the Coal Authority interactive map viewer. We are also offering a free mining report for each property affected by the incident on 21 January. If you would like this then please contact our residents’ support helpline.

Flood sludge sample results
We have now received test samples back taken from the garden areas which confirms the sludge and debris are non-hazardous. A copy of the report will be available to view via the NPT website - https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewen; if you would prefer to have your own copy by email, please contact the residents’ helpline. As with all flood water, we recommend anyone coming into contact with flood water debris take advice from Neath Port Talbot Environmental Health and Public Health Wales. Precautionary advice and links are on the councils website at https://www.npt.gov.uk/27177 .

Skewen Flood Debris Testing
File type Document File size
pdf Skewen Sludge Samples Summary Report 230221
84 KB

Future communication and useful contacts
We will continue to send weekly briefings directly to affected residents via email and publish them on Neath Port Talbot Council’s website.
 Read previous updates and FAQs on Neath Port Talbot Councils website at
https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewen
 If you have any queries regarding your electricity supply, please contact Western Power
Customer Services on 0800 096 3080 or visit their website https://www.westernpower.co.uk/
 Access the Coal Authority interactive map viewer
 To view the Coal Authority’s Policy on Skewen flooding response support

Contact us
If you have any questions about our work or you wish to book the help and support we can offer, please call our dedicated Skewen residents’ support helpline or email us.
Telephone: 0800 2884 268 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Email: customerservices@coal.gov.uk

Skewen Flood Update – Friday 19 February

Help disposing of flood damaged items

Our waste vehicles will be at the Skewen flood site tomorrow (Saturday 19 February) between 8am and 12pm to collect flood damaged items.

You can still flag down the vehicles if you have not prearranged a collection.

Protect yourself against scams

Coal Authority Update for Skewen Residents – Friday 19 February

We continue to work in collaboration with partners and other agencies in Skewen to support and provide assistance to local residents.

Mineshaft remediation and mine water management system

Next week we will close the cul-de-sac entrance to Goshen Park and establish a compound for our staff and contractors to work in safely. This will allow us to expose the area around the mineshaft, finalise investigations and begin remediation works.

Construction works will only take place between Monday and Friday, between 8am and 5pm, to minimise disruption for local residents. Access for this work will be via Drummau Road.

The new temporary access road for the cul-de-sac and the separate pedestrian access will remain open and will be unaffected by the works.

We will update you when we have more detailed plans for the permanent mine water management system.

Clean up work

Work has continued to remove sludge, mud and debris from around affected houses. Work has focused on Goshen Park and Dynevor Road this week. We have also rodded the drains of affected houses and, once the initial clean up is completed, we will offer a comprehensive check of household drains and carry out final flushes as required.

The clean-up work will continue next week. If you have not already registered for this service and would like us to do the work, please complete our online form, call our residents support helpline, or talk to a member of Coal Authority staff on site.


Garden reinstatement support available

Once the initial clean-up is complete we will start work to support the reinstatement of gardens.

The Coal Authority will provide up to £500 of material (plus VAT) and a reasonable amount of labour for each property affected by flooding. You can request this help by calling the residents helpline or by completing the online form

Full details of our policy to provide clean up and support is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/policy-on-skewen-flooding-response-support

 

Street level meetings

Following our residents meeting on 4 February, we are holding informal street level meetings to hear any further feedback or questions that you have.

Councillor Harvey will be chairing the meetings and details about the meetings will distributed via the community WhatsApp group. If you are not part of the group and would like to be added to it, please contact Councillor Harvey.

 

Future communication and useful contacts

We will continue to send weekly briefings directly to affected residents via email and publish them on Neath Port Talbot Council’s website.

Read previous updates and FAQs on Neath Port Talbot Councils website at https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewen

If you have any queries regarding your electricity supply, please contact Western Power Customer Services on 0800 096 3080 or visit their website https://www.westernpower.co.uk/

 

Contact us

If you have any questions about our work or you wish to book the help and support we can offer, please call our dedicated Skewen residents support helpline or email us.

Telephone: 0800 2884 268
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Email: customerservice@coal.gov.uk

Skewen Floods Update – Wednesday 17 February

Trees

The report from the council’s engineer confirms that the embankment upon which the trees are growing is structurally stable. The council also received the arboriculturalist report which confirms that a limited amount of work is required to seven trees within the area of land between Sunnyland Crescent and Cwrt y Clafdy which is protected by a Woodland Preservation Order. This work is limited to the removal of ivy and the lopping of a small number of branches.

The land is unregistered but the council has agreed to step in and undertake the work in this case, to further reassure residents. Notices will be displayed around the site to advise of the council’s intentions and enable the unregistered landowner to come forward. The aborculturalist is also in consultation with the council’s planning service to secure permission to undertake this limited work given the protection afforded to these trees.

Following the completion of this work, the council is satisfied that the trees do not pose a danger to nearby properties.

Coal Authority Update for Skewen Residents – Monday 15 February 2021

Residents’ Meeting

Following our residents meeting on 4 February, chaired by Councillor Mike Harvey, we have sent an information leaflet by email and post to affected residents and those on nearby streets. You can also access the information from our leaflet at: https://www.npt.gov.uk/1410?pr_id=6728

Residents impacted by the flooding incident can request secure access to watch the recording of the meeting by calling our Skewen resident’s helpline on 0800 2884268 or emailing customerservice@coal.gov.uk

A number of questions were answered on the night and some further information was requested. This will be shared on the Council’s website as it becomes available and will be included in our weekly residents’ update. We will continue to work with Councillor Harvey to answer further questions as you raise them – or you can contact our resident’s helpline at any time. Thank you for your continued feedback.

 Temporary Access Road at Goshen Park

 The new temporary access road opened at Goshen Park as planned on 6 February. There is also a separate pedestrian access. This means that all but three families now have direct access back to their homes. We are providing bespoke support to those individuals.

 We are grateful for your patience and co-operation during construction. The new road has a 3.5 tonne limit on it to minimise the traffic that enters the cul-de-sac. There may be times where, by exception, we have to bring a larger vehicle in to facilitate the clean-up of the flooded properties in Goshen Park. For example, last week we needed to bring in a larger lorry to collect the dumpy bags of sludge and mud that has been cleaned from around flooded properties. We will keep this to the absolute minimum and always use banks people for additional safety. As discussed at the Residents Meeting all works traffic relating to the new mine water management system and associated mineshaft remediation will access from Drummau Road.  

 Security

 The Coal Authority continue to provide a security presence to support residents and help keep your homes safe whilst some are unoccupied. Before 6 February this consisted of 5 security officers – 4 to patrol Goshen Park (where the Coal Authority have the multi-agency lead for security) and 1 to patrol the wider streets where the Police are the multi-agency lead for security. Now that the majority of people are back in their homes at Goshen Park we have changed this to 2 officers at Goshen Park (1 to manage access and 1 to patrol the flooded properties) and 2 officers to patrol the wider streets in support of the Police.

 Power supply

 Following the flooding incident, Western Power switched the supply of electricity in a number of homes to generator supply enable emergency work to take place whilst ensuring the safety of residents. Nearly all homes have now returned to mains electricity supply and Western Power are working on a plan to remove the final generator at Highlands Close over the coming weeks.

 If you have any queries regarding this please contact Western Power Customer Services on 0800 096 3080 or visit their website https://www.westernpower.co.uk/

 Clean up progress and support with garden reinstatement

 The clean-up of sludge, mud and debris deposited by the flood water around people’s homes started 2 weeks ago and is progressing well. The Coal Authority is making use of a range of local contractors and have multiple crews on site to support this. Several of you have asked us to include drain clearance contractors and we are putting this in place. You can request this additional help by calling the residents helpline or by speaking with a member of Coal Authority staff on site.

 The initial clean up at Sunnyland Crescent is complete and work has been ongoing this week at the Highlands, Goshen Park and Dynevor Road. We will be starting at Jubilee Crescent next week. We do need your permission to undertake this work so if you would like it and haven’t yet given permission please do so by calling the residents helpline.

 This work will continue until every house that wants the service has received it and we also recognise that the outdoor areas of some properties may benefit from more than one clean, which is fine. Labour and costs for this work is unlimited and entirely separate from the financial support available to help with garden reinstatement.

 Once the clean-up work is complete, contractors will be starting on work to support the reinstatement of your gardens. The Coal Authority will provide up to £500 of material (plus VAT) and a reasonable amount of labour. You can request this help by calling the residents helpline and / or by filling in and returning the online form.


Complete the online form

 Read the full details of the support that we can provide

  Mine water management scheme and associated mineshaft remediation

 Now that the temporary access road is in place and once all necessary services have been realigned, the Coal Authority will be able to close the main cul-de-sac junction and begin the invasive investigation works needed to finalise designs and options for the new mine water management system and associated mine shaft remediation. We will keep you informed as plans and works progress.

 Future communications and updates

 If you have any questions or want to book the help and support outlined above then please call the Coal Authority’s dedicated Skewen residents support line from 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday on 0800 2884268 or email us: skewen@coal.gov.uk

 We will send weekly residents’ briefings directly to affected residents via email and publish them on Neath Port Talbot Council’s website.

We welcome your continued feedback about what communication you find most helpful.

Skewen Floods Update - Friday 12 February

Help disposing of flood damaged items

Today’s (Friday 12 February) arranged collections of flood damaged items has been changed to tomorrow morning (Saturday 13th February).

You can still also flag down the waste crews when they are on site.

Please ensure you leave enough space on the roads for our waste vehicles to access your properties.

Reminder – applications still open for Storm Christoph and Skewen Flood Support Grant

More than 100 applications have now been processed for Welsh Government’s Storm Christoph & Skewen Flood Support Grant.

Support is available for households:

  • whose internal homes have been flooded by Storm Christoph and the Skewen mine working floods. OR
  • who have been evacuated by the Council Coal Authority or other emergency service for more than 24 hours

Households that have been affected can apply for a payment of £500 (for those who have insurance) or £1,000 (for those without insurance cover).

You can apply online and find out more information at: https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewengrant

 

Wellbeing support

If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing, you can access support and resources from the below websites and organisations:

Storm Christoph and Skewen Flood Support Grant Update – Wednesday 10 February

More than 100 applications have now been processed for the Welsh Government Storm Christoph & Skewen Flood Support Grant. The next payments will reach the bank accounts of those who have applied on Thursday 11 February.
For more information about the grant and if you have not yet completed an online application form, visit https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewengrant

Skewen Floods Update (Wednesday 10 February) - Help disposing of flood damaged items

If you still have flood damaged items and need help with disposal, please email us at environment@npt.gov.uk or call 01639 686868 to let us know when you are putting your items out for collection.

Skewen Floods Update (Wednesday 10 February 2021) - Residents’ Incident Support Centre

As part of our immediate response and to support all residents affected by the flooding, the Resident’s Incident Support Centre was set up at Abbey Primary School.

With more personalised contact and support now being offered to residents, the final operational day of the Resident’s Incident Support Centre at Abbey Primary School will be Friday February 12th.

As well as providing continued in-person support to affected residents, we are continuing to update these webpages with the latest advice and links you may find helpful.

Here we have compiled a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ raised by Skewen residents over the last few weeks: https://www.npt.gov.uk/27177

We understand that everyone that was affected by the floods in Skewen has had a lot to deal with both practically and emotionally. If you require support for your mental health and wellbeing, please contact your GP for advice and assistance.

The following resources may also be of help to you:

• For online resources in relation to adults please go to: https://www.npt.gov.uk/26557
• For online resources in relation to children and young people please go to: https://www.npt.gov.uk/23442
• For counselling support you can contact NPT MIND on 01639 643510 or email info@nptmind.org.uk
• For a more extensive list of resources please go to the FAQs page: https://www.npt.gov.uk/27177

If you require support to access white goods or furniture please contact the Safe and Well Service on 01639 686868 or your Local Area Coordinator, Emma Jones, on 07583 780991.

If you require independent advice on your personal situation, please contact Citizens Advice on (0808 278 7926)

If you require support in relation to your housing situation, please contact our Housing Options team on 01639 685219 or email housingoptions@npt.gov.uk

If you require any further information, assistance or advice not covered in the above please contact your Local Area Coordinator on: 07583 780991. Emma will be able to offer you support and redirect your call to the appropriate services/organisations based on your needs.

Coal Authority Update for Skewen Residents - Tuesday 9 February 2021

This leaflet is for all those in Skewen affected by the mine water flooding incident and evacuation on 21 January or who lives in the immediate area.

We know that not everyone was able to attend the online Residents' Meeting that was held on 4 February and wanted to share the key information with you. If you would like more information or to discuss this further there are contact details at the end of the leaflet.

Here to help
Everyone at the Coal Authority is genuinely sorry that so many residents were affected by the flooding incident on 21 January 2021. We have been working with partners since then to get people back to their homes and to investigate what caused the flooding and design remediation works and a new mine water management system to give the community peace of mind. The Coal Authority does not have liability for flooding and residents who have been flooded need to work with their insurers regarding any damage that has been caused. We have put in a package of support to help with the outdoor clear up and to support the reinstatement of gardens and outside areas. There is more information in this leaflet.

21 January 2021
Coal Authority staff were on site as soon as we were informed of the incident. We supported the emergency services to keep everyone safe and began an immediate investigation into the information we and others hold about the mining legacy of the Skewen area to get the clearest picture possible. It is not unusual for heavy rain to expose mining features or cause mine water to rise but the scale, length and impact of this event is extremely unusual. Our investigations showed that the mine water from the workings above Skewen now needs a new management solution and that the mine shaft on the Goshen Park junction which was damaged by the mine water needs to be remediated. We can clearly state that there is no wider stability risk to the area and no new or increased risk to any property in the Skewen area from mining subsidence or other mine shafts / mining features in the local area.

What happened and why
The area around Skewen has a large number of historic mine workings, which date back to before 1850, predating the legal requirement for mine owners to lodge mining records. Rainwater seeps into the hillside and enters the mine workings. The mine workings above and around Skewen cover over 12km². The main underground water drainage channel (or adit) is 4.8km long. The drainage channel has operated effectively for a very long time but has become blocked, causing water to build up in the adit. The pressure of the water forced a connection with the nearby mineshaft which allowed the water to rise much closer to ground level and weaken the mine shaft and area around it causing the water to ‘blow out’ from the mineshaft and cause the flooding we saw on the 21 January 2021.

The mine water contains iron from the mine workings which is why it was so orange (like rust) at first. We have been taking regular samples of the mine water since the incident and can confirm that there is nothing in the mine water which is of concern or would affect the clean-up. All floodwater is unfortunately contaminated from sewers and drains and the NPT website ( https://www.npt.gov.uk/27177 ) provides advice on sensible precautionary measures.

What's been done?
Public safety, working with emergency partners, was our first priority. The area was fenced and the gas to Goshen Park disconnected. Some residents were evacuated due to this and because of the unsafe access at the Goshen Park cul-de-sac entrance near the blow out. We worked with Neath Port Talbot Council to put in place a temporary mine water management system. As flows reduced from the mine workings this was changed to an alternative system to allow access back to more homes. Everyone other than Goshen Park residents regained access to their homes on or before 28 January. The temporary system is monitored daily and is coping well with the flows.

We undertook drilling work in the area around the blow out to identify the extent of the damaged mine shaft at the junction. This allowed us to facilitate short term access to Goshen Park (29/30 January) to allow residents to collect cars and precious / essential belongings. Work then began to repair and reconnect the gas line and to install a new temporary access for Goshen Park residents which opened 6 February and has allowed all but 3 families to have full access to their homes. To support residents we established a dedicated community support helpline 0800 2884268 which is available 9-5 Monday to Friday to deal with practical questions and administer the support which we could put in place and are providing 24/7 security at Goshen Park and providing additional security patrols to support the Police in the wider areas.

What's next?
Now the temporary access is in place at Goshen Park the cul-de-sac junction will be closed and work to remediate the mineshaft and to finalise and install a new water management system will begin. The road junction to Goshen Park will be open within 3 months and the new system will be in place within 6 months. The new mine water management system will be of sufficient capacity to manage all mine water flows from the hills and workings above and will take into account the potential impacts of future extreme weather. The system will have 24/7 flow monitoring and telemetry alarms so that it can be continuously monitored and swift action taken if there is any change. We aim to minimise disruption as much as possible during the works and will keep you updated as the design details and works progress. We will continue to work closely with Neath Port Talbot Council to provide support and share information.

Reporting concerns
Since the incident many of you have provided information to suggest that unusual occurrences had occurred in the days, weeks and months before the blow out occurred. We have listened to this feedback and will be running a public awareness campaign with local communities, Local Resilience Forum partners and utility companies in the weeks and months ahead to help more people be aware of our work and know that they can report such things directly to us. We know that local people know their area best and on average we receive 800-1000 reports a year which we investigate promptly and take action as needed. You, or any of your friends or family who live in coalfield areas (52% of people do across South Wales) can call us 24/7 on 01623 646333.

How can I find out more?
• you can call our residents' helpline 0800 2884268 Monday-Friday 9-5pm
• we will provide a weekly update to all residents that we have email addresses for. If you haven’t provided your details (or would prefer your update to be posted) then please let us know using the residents' helpline
• our updates, and answers to questions you have posed, will also be shared on the Neath Port Talbot Skewen residents' website at https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewen
• we will continue to share our information with Councillor Mike Harvey who will share on his residents' WhatsApp groups and his Facebook page
• we will be employing a local community liaison officer and will provide more information asap

What support is available?
Whilst the Coal Authority does not have legal liability for flooding and people do need to work with their insurance companies on the majority of the flood recovery work we recognise the impacts on people’s homes and lives and want to help where we can. This includes:

• cleaning external areas around flooded properties of ochre, mud and debris. Crews have been on site since 1 February and will continue until this has been done for all residents who want it – please give your permission through the residents' line
• support towards the reinstatement of gardens and outside areas up to a total of £500 of materials (plus VAT and reasonable labour costs) – you can request this and fill out a form of the specifics through the residents' line

Full details can be found at https://www2.groundstability.com/skewen. Our residents' helpline team can discuss this and other practical support (such as the reimbursement of hotel accommodation or an allowance for the time residents were evacuated / without access).

Follow up to residents' meeting
A large number of questions were raised and answered at the online meeting and more were raised in the chat function. All of these have been captured and will be answered in the following ways:

• property or resident specific questions will be answered directly to the resident who asked them
• general questions / answers and associated information (for example mine water monitoring data) will be shared through the residents' briefing and the FAQ pages on the NPT website (https://www.npt.gov.uk/27177).

The Coal Authority has also offered follow up meetings at a street level if residents would like this.

Please can you request this through Councillor Mike Harvey (cllr.m.harvey@npt.gov.uk) if you and your neighbours would find this helpful?

A full recording of the meeting is available on request via a secure transfer to all residents who have been affected or attended the residents’ meeting. Please contact the residents' helpline or email customerservice@coal.gov.uk

Coal Authority Update for Skewen Residents - Tuesday 9 February 2021
File type Document File size
pdf Coal Authority Update for Skewen Residents - Tuesday 9 February 2021
2.94 MB

Skewen Flood – Update from Citizens Advice – Tuesday 9 February 2021

Have you been affected by the recent flooding at Skewen?

Citizens Advice Swansea Neath Port Talbot are here to provide help, advice and support to those who may not have insurance, or who may be facing challenges with insurance claims, changes in benefits claims or housing issues.

We will be at the Resident Incident Support Centre at Abbey Primary School on Wednesday 10th February between 10am and 12 noon and again on Thursday 11th February from 2pm.

We can also be contacted on our free phone line on 0808 278 7926

Or via email at help@citizensadvicesnpt.org.uk 

Information is also available on our website at www.citizensadvicesnpt.org.uk

Skewen Floods update – Friday 5 February 2021

Trees

Following residents’ concerns and requests for some trees to be checked, a single tree between Sunnyland Crescent and Goshen Park has been removed. The council’s arborist has also inspected trees on the embankment between Sunnyland Crescent and Cwrt-y-Clafdy. They were found to be in a satisfactory condition but will be subject to further monitoring.

Diversion route – Drummau Road

Residents have raised concerns about the condition of this route.

In response, pothole repairs have been completed but highways officers are now undertaking a detailed survey of the road with respect to any necessary and more comprehensive, planned maintenance.

Some damaged post and rail fencing is also going to be repaired.

Junction between Highlands and Drummau Road

In last night’s public meeting, residents expressed concerns about the restrictions in place at the junction between Highlands and Drummau Road. Unfortunately this is as a consequence of the temporary drainage which has been put in place to capture the water from the blowout hole close to the access to Goshen Park. The temporary drainage has been designed to minimise the impact upon the accessibility of the highway but unfortunately it is acknowledged that some disruption will be experienced. The Coal Authority are in the process of designing a more permanent solution and until such a solution is designed and implemented, disruption to vehicular movements at this location will unfortunately continue.

Message for residents of Goshen Park - Friday 5 February

Waste collections

The Coal Authority has been able to construct the temporary access track to Goshen Park a bit wider than expected so we will be able to continue to provide waste collections using bin lift vehicles.  Consequently our normal wheelie bin and recycling collections can now restart.  The waste collection day will however need to change from Thursday to Friday.

So normal waste collections for Goshen Park will start next week on Friday 12th February and will continue to be collected on a Friday until further notice.

Next week is a ‘recycling only’ week, and as refuse was collected on the morning of the flooding incident, there shouldn’t be a backlog of refuse.  However, the Council will be arranging to collect any flood damaged waste, so if anyone does have any additional refuse you can take it out to our crews when they are there.

Help with disposal of flood damaged possessions

Because of the restricted access we will be arranging visits to Goshen Park to assist with disposal of any flood damaged waste on an appointment basis.  Please email us at environment@npt.gov.uk  or call us on 01639 686868 during office hours to leave us your contact details. A member of the waste team will then contact you to arrange a suitable time for collection.

 

Residents’ Incident Support Centre to remain open next week (week commencing Monday 8 February)

Our Residents’ Incident Support Centre at Abbey Primary School will remain open next week (Monday 8 to Friday 12 February, 9am to 5pm) to offer help, information and advice to residents who have been affected by the floods in Skewen.

At the Centre, you can get help with:

  • Housing support
  • Social services – e.g. wellbeing support, welfare rights support, information, assistance and advice
  • Information on community safety
  • Information on how to make your home fire safe along with free smoke & carbon monoxide alarms
  • Completing the Skewen Flood Support Grant
  • Environmental Health Support and Advice

If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing at this difficult time, you can also access support and resources from the below websites and organisations:

If you need support outside of these hours, please call

  • 01639 686868 for general queries
  • 01639 685219 for emergency housing needs
  • 01639 895455 for the Social Services Emergency Duty Team

Skewen Floods Update (Wednesday 3 February) - Help disposing of flood damaged items

Our waste crews will be on site of the flood again this Saturday (6 February) between 8am and 4pm to collect flood damaged items. Please send us an email to environment@npt.gov.uk to let us know when you are putting out items for our waste team to collect or flag down the crew when they are on site. You can also call us on 01639 686868 to let us know if you need waste collected. You DO NOT need to book a slot.

Coal Authority Update for Skewen Residents – 3 February 2021

Goshen Park residents update
We understand that residents want access back to their homes as soon as possible. We are pleased to confirm that work on the temporary access road (from Drummau Road to the circular end of the cul-de-sac) will be completed on Friday 5 February as planned. Residents will have road access to their homes using this new access from 8am on Saturday 6 February.

Wales and West utilities have been working to reconnect the gas to properties at Goshen Park. Before residents can move back in to their homes (whether they were flooded or not) gas safety checks need to be completed for each house. Engineers from Wales and West Utilities will be on site from 9am – 4.30pm on Thursday 4 February and Friday 5 February to do this. Residents do not need to book in advance but can turn up (using the pedestrian access on the original cul de sac junction) and meet the engineers on site. We can only provide pedestrian access on these days so please park safely off site. If you are not able to meet the engineers on site on one of these days then please contact our residents’ helpline on 0800 2884268 to discuss alternative arrangements.

Please get in touch
Please can we remind any residents who were affected by the flooding and haven’t yet provided their contact details to us, to get in touch if you would like to receive proactive updates by phone and / or email and also information on any support that we can provide. You can call us from 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday on 0800 2884268.

Don’t forget
Please see our previous update (dated 31 January 2021 at https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewen) for information that is still relevant about:

- Our residents’ Zoom meeting this Thursday (4 February)
- Practical support with outside clean up and garden reinstatement for those who have suffered flooding. You can also find relevant information and a simple form to complete at https://www2.groundstability.com/skewen

You can also contact our residents’ support line for information and any further support - including details about reimbursement for accommodation expenses incurred due to the evacuation. This is from 21 January – the evening you were evacuated from your home – until the point that access has been made available to your property (on or before 28 January for all residents except for those at Goshen Park who will have access on 6 February.) Hotel accommodation will be reimbursed with a receipt, otherwise an allowance of £30 a night per household can be claimed.

Future updates
- For the latest residents’ information from the Coal Authority, you can continue to access Neath Port Talbot Council’s resident website at https://www.npt.gov.uk/skewen
- If you have any questions or need advice, you can call our dedicated Coal Authority Skewen community liaison team from 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday on 0800 2884268

We welcome your continued feedback about how you would like us to communicate with you.

Temporary changes to the 155 bus service in Skewen

Due to essential maintenance work in Woodland Close, Skewen, the 155 bus service which operates on a Tuesday and Thursday is unable to serve its usual route. This will affect residents in Brookville Drive, Woodland Close, Dynevor Road and Drummau Road. While the work is ongoing the 155 service will operate via New Road Skewen.

Skewen Floods Update (Wednesday 3 February) – Insurance advice

Many residents affected by the flooding have asked us where to get advice about insurance.

Advice for those with insurance:

  • Please contact your insurers as soon as possible to inform them of the flood damage
  • Read your policy and understand the insurance cover you have in place.
  • Ask them for details on how to make a claim and whether they will send out an insurance loss adjuster
  • Take photographs or video of the damage to your home and contents  
  • Don’t throw away any damaged items until you have discussed with your insurer.
  • Some insurance companies will offer you a fixed amount to settle the claim – before accepting be sure that you understand what they are offering and whether it is reasonable.  

If you don’t have insurance, or need help with claims, the team of advisers at Citizens Advice Swansea Neath Port Talbot are here to provide help, advice and support to those who may not have insurance, or who may be facing challenges with insurance claims, changes in benefits claims or housing issues.

They can be contacted on their free phone line on 0808 278 7926, or via email at help@citizensadvicesnpt.org.uk Information is also available on our website at www.citizensadvicesnpt.org.uk 

Skewen Floods Update – Tuesday 2 February

Coal Authority's Public Meeting – Thursday 4 February

The Coal Authority is holding an online public event for residents that have been affected by the floods on Thursday 4 February at 6:00pm. To book a place please call their residents helpline on 0800 2884 268.

Coal Authority's package of support

We’ve been listening to your feedback and you’ve told us that one of the best ways to help is to provide practical support in sorting out gardens and outside areas where they are not covered by insurance.
We have put together a package of support which is available to all those in Skewen who have suffered external flooding. There are two aspects:

(1) Immediate help clearing external areas around the property of ochre, mud and debris. Crews will start onsite Monday 1 February in Sunnyland Crescent and then move to Jubilee Crescent, Highlands, Dynever Road, Cwty-Y-Clafdy and surrounding areas before starting in Goshen Park on Monday 8 February when the new temporary access is available.
(2) Support to reinstate gardens and outside areas back to how they were before the flooding. This includes things like fence panels, grass, gravel and patching holes or cracks in driveways up to a total of £500 of materials.

If you would like to register for this practical help then please call the residents hotline on 0800 2884268 and we will then let you know when the crew can be on site to clear up and then to discuss your preferences for garden reinstatement.

You can see the full details of this support at appendix 1 below.

Appendix 1
The Coal Authority - Policy on Skewen Flooding Response Support – 31 January 2021

On 21st January 2021, following Storm Christoph and prolonged wet weather across Wales a large volume of water flooded into Skewen from mine workings in Goshen Park.

The Coal Authority has investigated this thoroughly. The incident was as a result of a blockage in an old drainage adit (mine working). We are putting in place work to remediate this adit and the mineshaft involved. We will build a new mine water management system to capture the water coming down from the mines above Skewen to reduce the risk of such an event happening again. This will have flow monitoring and telemetry (alarm) systems so it can be monitored 24/7.

We recognise that the flooding has had a significant impact on many homes and we want to offer assistance to the local community with the clean-up. Flood recovery is a matter for insurance and residents should work through their insurers in the first instance but we have been told by many who are affected that some or all of their outside clean-up and reinstatement is not covered by insurance. We will therefore offer the following support:
(1) Immediate help clearing external areas around the property of ochre, mud and debris. Crews will start onsite Monday 1 February in Sunnyland Crescent and then move to Jubilee Close, Highlands, Dynever Road, Cwrt-Y-Clafdy and surrounding areas before starting in Goshen Park on Monday 8 February when the new temporary access is available.

(2) Support to reinstate gardens and outside areas back to how they were before the flooding. This includes things like fence panels, grass, gravel and patching holes or cracks in driveways up to a total of £500 of materials


The eligibility criteria for such support are as follows:
1. A person eligible for support must be an owner or occupier of a home flooded in Skewen on 21st January 2021;
2. The resident is responsible for contacting the Coal Authority through the residents helpline 0800 2884268 to request assistance
3. The resident will need to agree in writing with the Coal Authority or its contractors what garden reinstatement will be provided
4. The cap for garden / outdoor reinstatement work (not including the initial clearance of ochre, gravel or small debris) is £500 of materials per household
5. The Coal Authority will provide other reasonable assistance such as labour at its sole discretion

It should be noted that the Coal Authority has no legal liability for coal mine water discharges. This policy has been adopted by the Coal Authority pursuant to its statutory functions. No part of this policy or any action taken prior to or following the flooding at Skewen on 21st January 2021 by or on behalf of the Coal Authority, its employees and officers, may be construed as in any way constituting an admission of liability for the flooding on 21st January 2021 or any of its consequences.

 

Residents’ Incident Support Centre Update - Tuesday 2 February

Our Residents Incident Support Centre at Abbey Primary School will remain open this week and next week (week commencing Monday 8 February) to offer help, information and advice to residents who have been affected by the floods in Skewen.

At the Centre, you can get help with:

  • Making appointments with utility companies and the Coal Authority
  • Housing support
  • Social services – e.g. wellbeing support, welfare rights support, information, assistance and advice
  • Information on community safety
  • Completing the Skewen Flood Support Grant
  • Environmental Health Support and Advice

If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing at this difficult time, you can also access support and resources from the below websites and organisations:

There will be further updates in relation to other support organisations coming soon.

If you need support outside of these hours, please call

  • 01639 686868 for general queries
  • 01639 685219 for emergency housing needs
  • 01639 895455 for the Social Services Emergency Duty Team

Skewen Flood & Storm Christoph Support Grant Update - Tuesday 2 February

More than 90 applications have now been processed for the Skewen Flood & Storm Christoph Support Grant. The next payments will reach the bank accounts of those who have applied on Thursday 4 February.

The grant is available for households:

  • whose internal homes have been flooded by Storm Christoph and the Skewen mine working floods. OR
  • who have been evacuated by the Council Coal Authority or other emergency service for more than 24 hours

Households that have been affected can apply for a payment of £500 (for those who have insurance) or £1,000 (for those without insurance cover).

Apply here: www.npt.gov.uk/skewengrant

Skewen Flooding Update – Monday 1 February

Other than Goshen Park, all refuse/recycling collections will be as per normal from this Thursday/Friday. Please note that some timings may be different to normal as some areas will have to be accessed from different directions due to the road closure around Goshen Park.

The clean-up operation within the affected area is continuing and the council’s waste teams are ready to help residents to dispose of flood damaged possessions. If you need help please send us an email to environment@npt.gov.uk and please remember to take photos or video of any items before you dispose of them for insurance purposes.

The Coal Authority has published a package of support which is available to all those in Skewen who have suffered external flooding. Please their update below to read the full update.

WATCH: Latest Skewen floods update from Cllr Rob Jones, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council (Monday 1st February)

A message to all residents affected by the recent floods in Skewen. Watch here:

Update 1 February - Drummau Road Skewen - Temporary Road Closure

From today (Monday 1st February) Drummau Road will be closed from the junction of The Highlands due to the recent flooding incident in Skewen.

The alternative route for traffic will be via the unaffected section of Drummau Road, A4230 New Road  B4434, Dynevor Road, Sidings Terrace, Park Avenue, B4291 Birchgrove Road and Drummau Road – see map below.

Update for Skewen residents from The Coal Authority - 31 January

Skewen residents who have suffered flooding
We know that the mine flooding incident on 21 January 2021 had significant impacts on the village of Skewen and are genuinely sorry for that. Now the clean-up begins and we understand the emotions and frustration that people feel when they see the impacts of the water on their homes.

Whilst the Coal Authority does not have legal liability for flooding from mine water and people do need to work with their insurance companies on the majority of the flood recovery work we recognise the impacts on people’s homes and lives and we want to help where we can.

We’ve been listening to your feedback and you’ve told us that one of the best ways to help is to provide practical support in sorting out gardens and outside areas where they are not covered by insurance.
We have put together a package of support which is available to all those in Skewen who have suffered external flooding. There are two aspects:

(1) Immediate help clearing external areas around the property of ochre, mud and debris. Crews will start onsite Monday 1 February in Sunnyland Crescent and then move to Jubilee Crescent, Highlands, Dynever Road, Cwty-Y-Clafdy and surrounding areas before starting in Goshen Park on Monday 8 February when the new temporary access is available.
(2) Support to reinstate gardens and outside areas back to how they were before the flooding. This includes things like fence panels, grass, gravel and patching holes or cracks in driveways up to a total of £500 of materials.

If you would like to register for this practical help then please call the residents hotline on 0800 2884268 and we will then let you know when the crew can be on site to clear up and then to discuss your preferences for garden reinstatement.

You can see the full details of this support at appendix 1 below and we will shortly publish it on our website at www.gov.uk and on Neath Port Talbot Council's website.


Goshen Park residents
We understand that residents are keen to have access back to their homes as soon as possible. We are pleased to confirm that work on the temporary access road (from Drummau Road to the circular end of the cul-de-sac) will begin on Monday 1 February. Residents will be able to have access to their homes using this new access from Saturday 6 February at the latest. If the works can be completed earlier and the road opened sooner we will let you know.

The Wales and West Utilities work to reconnect the gas supply to houses in Goshen Park is continuing well and should complete this Wednesday or Thursday, allowing boilers to then be recommissioned and we will keep you updated and support you in getting this done. You can see Wales and West Utilities updates directly at https://www.wwutilities.co.uk/news-and-events/flooding-in-skewen/

Works to remediate the mineshaft on the normal Goshen Park access junction will begin once the gas reconnection works are complete. This will require a cordon to stay in place in that area until those works are complete (up to 3 months). This will affect access to properties 1-4 Goshen Park and we are speaking with and supporting those residents directly.


Residents Meeting
Plans are being finalised for the new water management scheme and works will start as soon as they have been agreed with partners such as the council and Natural Resources Wales. We can give more details at the Residents Meeting this Thursday from 6-7pm which will be chaired by Councillor Mike Harvey. Please book a place via the resident’s helpline if you would like to attend.

We recognise that there is only so much that can be covered in a 1 hour meeting and that not all residents want to join a Zoom meeting. We would be happy to do follow up street by street zoom meetings and / or discussions on a ‘street surgery’ basis to visit those who would rather speak face to face (in a socially distanced and Covid-secure way). We will deliver leaflets in the area this week with more details on this or you can contact the resident’s helpline for more information or to share your feedback.

Future communications with residents
We work with the media and use social media, especially in the early stages of an incident, to help us inform those affected, especially when they have evacuated and can be in a variety of accommodations across a wide area. Now that the resident’s helpline is in place and contact details are being collected we will be able to communicate mainly in a more personalised way and welcome the feedback you have been providing on this. Going forwards this will include:

  • continuing to work with Councillor Mike Harvey to share information to your residents group
  • using the dedicated council webpage for residents at https://www.npt.gov.uk/27174
  • continuing the residents helpline 0800 2884268 (including proactive calls and account management support)
  • providing targeted emails on a street by street (or groups of streets) basis to share key information
  • Leaflet drops and street walks to support those not on the internet

Please keep providing your feedback to help inform how we can best communicate with you over the next few days and months.

Appendix 1
The Coal Authority - Policy on Skewen Flooding Response Support – 31 January 2021

On 21st January 2021, following Storm Christoph and prolonged wet weather across Wales a large volume of water flooded into Skewen from mine workings in Goshen Park.

The Coal Authority has investigated this thoroughly. The incident was as a result of a blockage in an old drainage adit (mine working). We are putting in place work to remediate this adit and the mineshaft involved. We will build a new mine water management system to capture the water coming down from the mines above Skewen to reduce the risk of such an event happening again. This will have flow monitoring and telemetry (alarm) systems so it can be monitored 24/7.

We recognise that the flooding has had a significant impact on many homes and we want to offer assistance to the local community with the clean-up. Flood recovery is a matter for insurance and residents should work through their insurers in the first instance but we have been told by many who are affected that some or all of their outside clean-up and reinstatement is not covered by insurance. We will therefore offer the following support:
(1) Immediate help clearing external areas around the property of ochre, mud and debris. Crews will start onsite Monday 1 February in Sunnyland Crescent and then move to Jubilee Close, Highlands, Dynever Road, Cwrt-Y-Clafdy and surrounding areas before starting in Goshen Park on Monday 8 February when the new temporary access is available.

(2) Support to reinstate gardens and outside areas back to how they were before the flooding. This includes things like fence panels, grass, gravel and patching holes or cracks in driveways up to a total of £500 of materials


The eligibility criteria for such support are as follows:
1. A person eligible for support must be an owner or occupier of a home flooded in Skewen on 21st January 2021;
2. The resident is responsible for contacting the Coal Authority through the residents helpline 0800 2884268 to request assistance
3. The resident will need to agree in writing with the Coal Authority or its contractors what garden reinstatement will be provided
4. The cap for garden / outdoor reinstatement work (not including the initial clearance of ochre, gravel or small debris) is £500 of materials per household
5. The Coal Authority will provide other reasonable assistance such as labour at its sole discretion

It should be noted that the Coal Authority has no legal liability for coal mine water discharges. This policy has been adopted by the Coal Authority pursuant to its statutory functions. No part of this policy or any action taken prior to or following the flooding at Skewen on 21st January 2021 by or on behalf of the Coal Authority, its employees and officers, may be construed as in any way constituting an admission of liability for the flooding on 21st January 2021 or any of its consequences.

We are in the process of making arrangements to support those residents who need specialist help with the clean-up of their homes after the flooding incident in Skewen last week.

We are working on plans to coordinate a response with local community groups and organisations that specialise in supporting residents to clean their properties and remove any damaged household items.

More information on how residents can access this help will be published on Monday (1st February).

The clean-up operation of the highways within the affected area has continued today. Waste teams have been on site from 2pm until 5 pm today to help residents to dispose of flood damaged possessions, and the teams will be there again tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday from 8am to 4pm. Please remember to take photos or video of any items before you dispose of them for insurance purposes. If you need help with the disposal of flood damaged items please let us know by emailing environment@npt.gov.uk

Our drainage team will be doing work over the weekend to deal with surface water outside 87 Dynevor Road for the safety of road users and in readiness for reintroduction of bus services.

Following concerns raised by residents, we are arranging for the council’s arborist to check the stability of trees both to the front and rear of Sunnyland Crescent.

Welsh Water confirmed earlier today that they are satisfied that there was no breach of their drinking water infrastructure and as such water supplies within the area are safe. Residents are reminded of the need however to ensure that all internal water fixtures within the property are cleaned i.e. sinks and taps, before use.

With further rain forecast, we continue to monitor the temporary drainage arrangements.

Our Residents Incident Support Centre at Abbey Primary School is open to offer help, information and advice to residents who have been affected by the floods in Skewen.

At the Centre, you can get help with:

  • Making appointments with utility companies and the Coal Authority
  • Housing support
  • Social services – e.g. wellbeing support, welfare rights support, information, assistance and advice
  • Information on community safety
  • Completing the Skewen Flood Support Grant
  • Environmental Health Support  and Advice

If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing at this difficult time, you can also access support and resources from the below websites and organisations:

There will be further updates in relation to other support organization coming soon

The Centre will remain open on the following days and times:

  • Friday 29th January (9am to 5pm)
  • Saturday 30th January (9am to 12pm)
  • Monday 1st February (9am to 5pm)
  • Tuesday 2nd February (9am to 5pm)
  • Wednesday 3rd February (9am to 5pm)
  • Thursday 4th February (9am to 5pm)
  • Friday 5th February (9am to 5pm)

If you need support outside of these hours, please call

  • 01639 686868 for general queries
  • 01639 685219 for emergency housing needs
  • 01639 895455 for the Social Services Emergency Duty Team

Message for residents who are now contacting their insurers (29 January)

Please remember to take photos or a video of the internal damage to your home recording the damage to floors, walls, carpets, furniture and any other items before you dispose of them.

If you need help with disposal of flood dama​ged items, please send us an email to environment@npt.gov.uk to let us know when you are putting out items for our waste team to collect.

The council has undertaken a survey to determine the extent of properties affected by flood water and is making arrangements to assist affected residents with the disposal of flood damaged possessions.

Assistance will start tomorrow afternoon (Friday 29th January, between 2pm & 5pm) and continue over the weekend on Saturday and Sunday (8am-4pm). There will also be further assistance during the following week and weekend to assist residents who are waiting for insurance assessments etc.

If your home is in the affected areas of Highland Close, Drummau Road, Sunnyland Crescent, Dynevor Road and Jubilee Crescent please e-mail Environment@npt.gov.uk to let us know that you have put flood damaged waste out for collection, or to let us know when you intend to put waste out for collection, so the council’s waste section knows to call and collect it.

The council has allocated vehicles for this purpose, operating outside of the regular kerbside waste collection rounds. Over the weekend, flood affected residents will also have the option to ‘flag down’ a passing crew if the opportunity arises but you will not be able to do this with our regular waste collection vehicles.

Waste collections cannot be arranged for Goshen Park for the time being.

Blow Out at Goshen Park Skewen
At the time of writing it is a week since the ‘blow out’ occurred at Goshen Park Skewen which caused extensive flooding in the surrounding area. My thoughts are very much with all of those directly affected and also the wider community of Skewen.

There was an immediate emergency response which involved the community itself and many emergency services, including the council. Having visited the area during those first days, it has been remarkable how the incident was quickly brought under control, limiting further damage to property and protecting residents from immediate physical harm.

As the week has gone on, our focus has turned to how we can support our residents and the community to recover from what has happened. As you will now know, the Coal Authority will be leading the work needed to remediate the mine shaft at the junction of Goshen Park and Drummau Road and to establish a new permanent system to drain the mine water over the longer term. The Coal Authority team have also been working hard this week to contact residents directly affected by the incident to discuss residents’ personal situations. We are grateful to residents for making early contact with agencies so that contact details could be passed through to the Coal Authority for this process to get under way as quickly as the circumstances allow.

The Coal Authority has set up a helpline for residents of Goshen Park to make appointments to collect essential belongings and vehicles from their homes. That number is 0800 2884 268.

We know that residents want to get back to their properties as quickly as possible. Where it has been deemed safe for residents to return, it is vitally important that the gas and electricity services are checked by the utility companies to ensure they are safe to use. I know that the arrangements to enable this to happen have now been agreed and for many residents it will be possible to move forward. There will be many things that residents will need to work through over the coming weeks and months. The council and its many partners stand ready to provide ongoing help and support - for example collecting damaged household items and giving public health advice on how to deal with the aftermath of flooding. We will maintain our Residents’ Incident Support Centre for the time being at Abbey Primary School and we will be supporting your local councillor, Mike Harvey, with information and support to make sure we have a good understanding of residents’ needs and can respond to those needs as they emerge.

Restricted short-term access to retrieve vehicles and essential personal items (close to the existing junction between Goshen Park and Drummau Road) will be available for residents of Goshen Park tomorrow and Saturday by appointment only.

Please call the residents’ helpline on 0800 288 4268 to make an appointment.

Residents can also walk onto and off Goshen Park between now and Saturday with no appointment to collect essential belongings – to visit with a vehicle you will need an appointment.

Unfortunately, residents are not able to reoccupy their properties at this time.

After Saturday, access to Goshen Park will stop due to the mineshaft remediation works starting and the pedestrian access being blocked by Transco who will be repairing and reconnecting the gas line. The Coal Authority are working to design alternative pedestrian and vehicular access to Goshen Park and further updates will follow.

If you are returning to a flooded property to collect belongings, you must contact Western Power Distribution and West & Wales Utilities to ensure safe access.

BEFORE accessing your property please contact:

Western Power Distribution – on 0800 096 3080 and quote reference number 3866697.
Western Power Distribution will need to have done their work before Wales & West Utilities do theirs.
Wales & West Utilities: please call their team on 02921 675030. They will arrange a time for you to meet one of their engineers at their Customer Support vehicle located in the area.

UPDATE FOR RESIDENTS OF SUNNYLAND CRESCENT

Pedestrian and vehicular access for residents of Sunnyland Crescent will be available from midday today (28.01.21). BEFORE accessing your property (if affected by flooding) you must contact Western Power Distribution and West & Wales Utilities to ensure safe access.

Western Power Distribution - please contact 0800 096 3080 and quote reference number 3866697.
Their customer services team will take your contact number and call you back with details about when and where to meet one of their engineers to isolate your electricity supply.
You will need to have made these arrangements before returning to your home and Western Power Distribution will need to have done their work before Wales & West Utilities do theirs.
Wales & West Utilities: please call their team on 02921 675030. They will arrange a time for you to meet one of their engineers at their Customer Support vehicle located in the area.

There are a number of agencies residents will need to contact as they prepare to access their homes. Here are the latest contact details provided to us.
We will provide further updates in the coming days.

Update from Western Power Distribution:
To ensure a safe return to your home we ask you to please contact us on 0800 096 3080 and quote reference number 3866697.
Our customer services team will take your contact number and call you back with details about when and where to meet one of our engineers to isolate your electricity supply.

You will need to have made these arrangements before returning to your home and Western Power Distribution will need to have done their work before Wales & West Utilities.

Update from Wales & West Utilities:
Wales & West Utilities want to reassure you that they will do everything they can to make sure you can get you back into your home as safely and as quickly as possible.
Before you return to your home, please call us on 02921 675030. We will arrange a time for you to meet one of our engineers at our Customer Support vehicle. This will be parked near the junction of Drummau Road, Dynevor Road and The Highlands. Our team will be on site from 8am to 6pm.
You will need to have made these arrangements before returning to your home.

Update from the Coal Authority:
Residents of Goshen Park can ring our helpline from 9am tomorrow (28.01.21) to make appointments for Friday & Saturday to collect essential belongings and vehicles from their homes – please call us on 0800 2884 268.

Update on Skewen Flood Support Grant:
If your property has been affected by internal flooding you can now apply for a payment of £500 (for those who have insurance) or £1,000 (for those without insurance). All payments will be made by BACS directly into your bank account. You can apply on the council website here www.npt.gov.uk/skewengrant 

Residents who have been evacuated from properties in affected streets OTHER THAN GOSHEN PARK AND SUNNYLAND CRESCENT can now have access to their homes.

However, if your home has been affected by internal flooding, you will need to contact engineers at Western Power Distribution (Electricity) and Wales & West Utilities (Gas) BEFORE accessing your property.

RESIDENTS LIVING AT GOSHEN PARK and SUNNYLAND CRESCENT should contact the Coal Authority’s Skewen Community Liaison Team on 0800 2884268 to make an appointment to discuss the specific impacts on their property. This number will be available from 09.00am tomorrow morning (Wednesday 27 January).

RESIDENTS LIVING AT SUNNYLAND CRESCENT are advised that we are working on a solution to deal with the temporary drainage pipes currently obstructing access, so that residents can return to their homes and we will provide a further update soon.

Following further assessments of the area affected by the blow out that occurred at Skewen on Thursday, some residents will be allowed back to their properties tomorrow (26th January) in a controlled manner. Further details will be made available early tomorrow.

Residents of Goshen Park and Sunnyland Crescent who have yet to contact the Council are urged to do so in the next 24 hours. Access to these properties will continue to be affected beyond 26th January. The Coal Authority wish to have early discussions with the residents in these streets.  You can provide your contact details in a number of ways – by phone on 01639 686868, online at npt.gov.uk/skewen, or by calling into the Residents’ Incident Support Centre at Abbey Primary School between the hours of 9am and 5pm every day this week.

The investigation into what caused the flooding is continuing and is being led by officials from the Coal Authority.

Their engineers have now determined the precise location and extension of the collapsed mine shaft which allows them to bring in larger equipment to investigate the wider mine workings and drainage channels in the area around it.

They have also checked all recorded shafts in the immediate area and found them all to be safe; work to check over a wider area is continuing in the days ahead.

The council is working closely with the Coal Authority to understand how residents will be impacted by the ongoing investigations.

We know that people will want to get back to their homes but for today and tomorrow it is not safe to do so.

Work on site is continuing and we hope to issue a further statement tomorrow.

If you have been affected by the flooding or if you have been evacuated and have not yet contacted the council, please do so by calling 01639 686868 or you can leave your contact details with staff at our dedicated Residents’ Incident Support Centre. The Centre is located in Abbey Primary School (opposite Blodau) and open today and throughout next week from 9am to 5pm.

This will help us get the correct information to residents as soon as possible.

The safety of residents continues to be our top priority and in the meantime we ask you to please be patient as the investigation continues.

For safety reasons, residents evacuated from their homes in Skewen since Thursday 21 January, will not be able to return home this weekend, and the wait could possibly be longer.

The cause of the flood remains under investigation by the Coal Authority. A number of agencies remain on site to assess the safety of utilities, roads, and properties.

A Residents’ Incident Support Centre will be open at Abbey Primary School from tomorrow (Saturday 22 January) to offer help, information and advice. Council Officers will be on hand between 9am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and information on how to access emergency support out of hours will be displayed at the Centre.

Affected residents who have not yet made contact with us can call the council’s helpline on 01639 686868. We have also published a dedicated web page containing information and regular updates at www.npt.gov.uk/skewen.
Further updates will be published as more information becomes available.

The safety of residents continues to be our top priority and in the meantime we ask you to please be patient as the investigation continues.

Emergency services will remain overnight at the scene of a flooding incident in Skewen.

A major incident was declared after at least eight streets, including Goshen Park, flooded and a large number of properties needed to be evacuated.

Everyone who was evacuated has been found accommodation for tonight, estimated at around 80 residents.

There have been no reported injuries and we ask people to continue to avoid the area.

The cause of the flooding is being investigated and the water level will continue to be monitored.

Chief Superintendent Andy Valentine, South Wales Police said, “Emergency services, Neath Port Talbot Council and other civil contingencies partners have been working together to safeguard local residents and prevent further harm.”

“A multi-agency strategic coordination group has been established to coordinate the emergency response to this incident and to help support those affected by the flooding.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Roger Thomas, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, “First and foremost, our thoughts are with those who have been affected by the events of today.

“This incident involved a large multi-agency response to what was a dynamic and fast-moving incident, with incredible efforts by everyone involved to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the affected community.

“Our crews will remain available throughout the night to support our partners in bringing this incident to a safe conclusion.”

Chief Executive Karen Jones, Neath and Port Talbot Council said “Council officers have been on site since around midday and there will be a continued council presence in the area throughout the night.

“Our main focus at present is on continuing to support residents who had to leave their homes and ensuring others have a safe place to go if further evacuations are necessary. A local rest centre is on standby, where measures have been put in place to protect against the spread of Covid-19.”