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Skewen Flooding Frequently Asked Questions

We are sending text messages to residents that have signed up to receive updates.
The latest information will be provided on our webpages .
If you have a question for the Coal Authority, you can contact them on their freephone helpline on 0800 288  4267 or contact their Community Liaison Officer, Melanie Beynon who is based at No. 37 Goshen Park.

Following requests at the Residents’ meetings, the 2011 mine entry inspection report and residents letters issued at the time can now be published as we have the express consent of the owners of 45 and 46 Goshen Park. This information is available to view below or you may request a copy by contacting our residents’ helpline - 0800 2884268

We have been taking water samples since the incident, which continue to confirm that there are no safety risk from the water.

Mine entry inspection & water sample reports

  • Report - 45 Goshen Park (PDF 70 KB)
  • Report - 46 Goshen Park (PDF 70 KB)
  • Skewen Water Quality Assessment Summary Report (PDF 94 KB)
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If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing, you can access support and resources from the below websites and organisations:

  • Adults
  • Children and young people
    NPT MIND at info@nptmind.org.uk
    NPT CVS befriending service – 01639 631246
  • Melin Community Trust - Melin Community Trust are offering free counselling sessions to those who were affected by the floods in Skewen. Each person can access up to three free sessions. To find out more, contact Mark Fitzgerald by emailing mark.fitzgerald@neatheast.co.uk or calling 07483300772.
  • Hafal Neath
  • Mind - (01639 643510)
  • One Step Counselling and mental health services – 07861210632
  • WCADA – mental health and substance misuse – 01639 620222
  • Wellbeing Through work -  01639 684568
  • Barnardo’s
  • Activate your life – free online self-help video for anyone 16+ struggling with their mental health 
  • Daylight – is free online guide to support people through worry and anxiety 
  • Samaritans helpline –
    • Freephone 116 123 
    • Samaritans self-help app – to keep track of feelings and get recommendations for things you can do to help cope, feel better and stay safe in a crisis.
  • A.L.L. Mental Health Helpline – Community Advice and Listening Line – Freephone 0800 132 737 or Text HELP to 81066
  • Access to the GP hub in Neath –
    • Contact your local GP who will then make a referral onto the mental health provision based within the GP hub.

The junction at Goshen Park and Drummau Road is currently closed because the Coal Authority need to work at the location to remediate the mine shaft and then implement an alternative mine water drainage solution. This work is estimated to take between six and nine months.

This means that some residents face a longer journey over Drummau Mountain to access work and other services. Whilst steps were taken in the immediate aftermath of the emergency to provide access to a private road at the Highlands, regrettably, due to safety concerns and the attendant liabilities of the road owners in the event of personal injury and/or damage to property, the road has now been closed off to vehicular traffic.

It has been suggested that a temporary, alternative route be created across the bridleway that runs across Darran Park and Highland Gardens. The bridleway is not owned by the Council and the permission of the landowner is required, alongside a highways appraisal, to inform consideration of this proposal. Whilst it has been supported by some residents as a suitable temporary access route, the proposal is not straightforward and there are concerns about the consequential impact of this proposed alternative. The proposal is under active consideration and we will publish the outcome of our appraisal as soon as we are able to.

In order to facilitate better access for pedestrians, the Coal Authority have provided an additional footpath to the rear of number 1 Goshen Park which will be of assistance to some residents.

Please email 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.

The Resident’s Incident Support Centre was set up at Abbey Primary School as part of our immediate response to support residents has now closed.

However, we are continuing to provide in-person support to affected residents and 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.

You can also contact Melanie, the Coal Authority's Community Liaison Officer on 0800 2884268 or call their helpline on 0800 2884268 or email customerservice@coal.gov.uk.

Council tax exemption

Residents who cannot return to their homes due to the fact that they are uninhabitable can apply for a full Council tax exemption. Please contact 01639 686188 or email council.tax@npt.gov.uk

We are currently collating information about all the properties affected by flooding. If you have not already done so, please provide your contact details here. This will help us identify which householders will receive an exemption from council tax.

Welsh Government 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).

All payments will be paid by BACS directly into your bank account. You can upload photos of the internal flood damage to your house to assist the application if you have them available - this is not mandatory. You can apply here:

Apply online

 

Coal Authority Flooding Support

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 £2000 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.

View more information here: https://www2.groundstability.com/skewen/

Temporary Accommodation Expenses

You can contact the Coal Authority’s Skewen community liaison team on 0800 2884268 or complete the form here https://www2.groundstability.com/skewen/ for information about reimbursement for accommodation expenses incurred due to the evacuation.

  • For residents of Sunnyland Crescent and other evacuated, affected properties this covers the period up to and including the night of 28 January 2021.
  • For residents of Goshen Park this covers the period up to and including the night of when access is reinstated to Goshen Park. We currently expect this to be Friday 5 February 2021.

This reimbursement will be for hotel costs if receipted or £30 per household per night if you have stayed with family or friends. This form cannot be used to claim for longer-term accommodation.

If you need longer-term accommodation because your home is affected by flood damage, we recommend that you speak to your insurance company to arrange this.

 

You can contact the Coal Authority’s Skewen community liaison team on 0800 2884268 or complete the form here https://www2.groundstability.com/skewen/ for information about reimbursement for accommodation expenses incurred due to the evacuation.

  • For residents of Sunnyland Crescent and other evacuated, affected properties this covers the period up to and including the night of 28 January 2021.
  • For residents of Goshen Park this covers the period up to and including the night of when access is reinstated to Goshen Park. 

This reimbursement will be for hotel costs if receipted or £30 per household per night if you have stayed with family or friends. This form cannot be used to claim for longer-term accommodation.

If you need longer-term accommodation because your home is affected by flood damage, we recommend that you speak to your insurance company to arrange this.

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 can 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 

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

More information about Making an Insurance claim is available on the Natural Resources Wales website

Association of British Insurers - Responding to Floods: What you need to know

Downloads

  • Association of British Insurers - Flood Guide Poster (PDF 118 KB)

Whilst there hasn't been a need to call out for volunteers yet, this could change.

If you would like to offer help to those affected by the Skewen floods (e.g. donate items or volunteer), please provide your contact details using the form linked below

Offer help

If you’d like to become a NPT Safe & Well volunteer to support our most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic, you can apply here: 

NPT Safe and Well

For general volunteering opportunities throughout Neath Port Talbot, please contact Neath Port Talbot CVS on 01639 631246 or Volunteer@nptcvs.org.uk 

Alternatively, you can browse volunteering opportunities on the Volunteering Wales website: www.volunteering-wales.net

The cause of the incident was a blockage in historical mine workings which led to a build-up of water. It is likely that this happened over some time and when the pressure was sufficient it formed or forced a connection in a nearby mineshaft that allowed it to reach a much higher level and then find a weak spot to blow out.

The water has now found a new path and we will need to build a new water management system that has capacity for all the mine water coming down from the mine workings above Skewen.

We will now undertake two main packages of work. We will remediate the collapsed shaft by installing new support, drainage pipes and undertake engineering works to stabilise the ground and cap it to modern standards before resurfacing the road.

We will also install a new water management scheme for the mine water. The new system will use modern telemetry technology that will alert us to any changes in flow so that staff can attend promptly and it will be regularly inspected and maintained.

In the meantime, a temporary water diversion will remain in place and will be monitored carefully before, during and after periods of wet weather with extra action taken as needed to manage the flow.

Coal Authority Information

The Coal Authority has taken regular samples to test the mine water in Skewen since the blow-out on 21 January. The water contains iron which is normal for mine water as it is picked up by the water as it passes through the historical mine workings. When it is in contact with air the dissolved iron in the water becomes solid, creating the orange “ochre”  you can see.

There is nothing in the mine water which should prevent the clean-up from beginning provided normal floodwater precautionary measures are taken. The Coal Authority has commenced removing the ochre sludge from some garden areas and will continue to make arrangements with other properties for this.

If you or your insurer have any further questions about the mine water please contact the Coal Authority on 0800 288 4268.

During any type of flooding, sewage and drainage systems can become inundated by floodwater, which can lead to flooded areas becoming contaminated. A general good disinfecting of properties or items which have come into contact with floodwater is always recommended.

Environmental Health

Environmental Health officers can speak to residents who have concerns, and we are also contacting property owners and occupiers to offer inspection visits to give practical advice on cleaning down after the flood and what works may be required before they can move back in.  to speak to a member of the team, email ehd@npt.gov.uk .

For information on how to clean up safely following a flood, view the Public Health Wales leaflet here: https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/environmental-public-health/flooding/flooding-cleaning-up-safely/

Public Health Wales Information

Public Health Wales has a dedicated webpage on what people can do to protect their health during and after flooding. The webpage also has leaflets on the following topics:

  • Health Advice: General information following a flood
  • Floods and mental health
  • Flooding: Coping without mains water
  • How to clean up safely following floods

Public Health Wales flooding information

Visit the Natural Resources Wales website to find out more about what to do in a flood.

You can contact Mid & West Wales Fire Service on 0800 169 1234 or visit their website for more information.

There are leaflets available in the Residents’ Incident Response Centre on how to make your home fire safe.

You can also pick up free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at the Centre.

The Safer NPT Partnership have asked Skewen residents to be vigilant and care for their community by looking out for their neighbours in this difficult time.

If you think you've been approached by a scammer please contact Neath Port Talbot Council's Trading Standards Team 

Trading Standards
01639 686877 01639 686877 voice +441639686877

If you have concerns call 101 or 999 in an emergency.