On Friday (21st February), The Prince of Wales visited Pontypridd to meet with some of the businesses affected by the floods and also those involved in the huge rescue and support effort.
His Royal Highness walked along Taff Street in the town centre, accompanied by Council Leader Councillor Andrew Morgan, meeting some of the businesses that have been badly hit during the recent adverse weather.
Among those The Prince of Wales met was Joseph Gambarini, owner of the aptly-named The Prince’s Café in Taff Street.
One of the oldest businesses in the town centre, having opened on June 21, 1948, The Prince’s is a family-run business which has continually served the community for over 70 years.
Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Councillor Andrew Morgan, said: “I’d like to extend thanks to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, for his visit to some of the businesses affected by Storm Dennis in Pontypridd on Friday.
”Communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf have suffered unprecedented levels of damage, with Pontypridd being particularly badly affected through a combination of significant rainfall and record river levels.
“A number of the town centre businesses in Pontypridd have suffered internal flood damage, and the National Lido of Wales has also sustained significant damage as part of the wider Ynysangharad War Memorial Park flooding, which remains closed to the public.
“Despite this, Pontypridd is very much open business and I would urge our residents to show their support by shopping local.
“All of the business owners we spoke to on Friday were extremely grateful for the support and time that The Prince of Wales took to speak to them.”
Hundreds of homes and businesses across the County Borough have been damaged or destroyed over the last week as a result of successive weekends of inclement weather through both Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.
The Prince of Wales also met staff at the Kookoo Madame ladies boutique, which has also been badly affected, before moving on to the Municipal Buildings, where he was updated on the current situation and met with representatives of the Emergency Services and others who have assisted with the significant rescue and support effort.
The Prince of Wales was also updated on the severe flooding at the adjacent Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, and in particular Lido Ponty, the National Lido of Wales, which The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall officially opened in 2016. The Park remains closed to the public whilst inspections are carried out and the necessary repairs undertaken.
A multi-million-pound clean-up operation is currently underway across Rhondda Cynon Taf. The Council is also providing financial support, via a new Community Flood Recovery Grant - Hardship Payment, available for residents and businesses affected. Residents are reminded that in order to qualify for assistance, they have to notify the Council of internal flooding via the dedicated e-form, which can be accessed here.
The Welsh Government is also offering financial aid to flood victims, while support from local communities and the voluntary sector has been unprecedented.
Posted on Monday 24th February 2020