A COUNCILLOR representing an area badly flooded when Storm Callum struck Carmarthenshire said “major investment” is needed to prevent future events.

Scores of houses and businesses were inundated last October and a 21-year-old Newcastle Emlyn man, Corey Sharpling, died when he was caught up in a landslide on the A484 near Cwmduad.

The rainfall was so heavy over a three-day period that it created the biggest flood on record in the River Teifi catchment area, representing a one in 300-400 year event.

Met Office data contained in the report showed that Storm Callum dumped up to 20cm of rain in some parts of the Brecon Beacons, and that the River Teifi rose to record levels, breaking its banks at Pont Tyweli, Llandysul and at Newcastle Emlyn.

The clean-up operation and repairs to roads and bridges cost millions of pounds and there was also a warning that communities would have to take action themselves.

The report said: “This report has highlighted that in times of austerity, the county councils and NRW can no longer offer the level of responsive services they once did, due to resource limitations.”

Cllr Alan Speake told a scrutiny committee that his flood concerns weren’t being listened to.

The committee was considering the findings of a 140-page Storm Callum report, which set out 55 recommendations and actions.

Most of them will be taken forward by the council but some require input from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Welsh Water.

Cllr Speake said he felt excluded by what he described as an “officer-led report”.

He said he and other ward members had asked to attend a meeting involving the council, NRW, Welsh Water and Network Rail but hadn’t been allowed to.

“We asked to be present at that meeting to convey information from the last 15-and-a-half years,” he said.

“I have got numerous emails about flooding, and sewerage back-ups.

“We have gone through this experience many times in previous years. No-one seems to be listening.”

He added: “We need major investment, similar to what’s happening in Llanelli.”

Welsh Water has spent several million pounds on measures to mitigate surface water flooding in Llanelli and Gowerton, with schemes planned up to 2020.

The Storm Callum report pointed to gaps in understanding of flood protection and drainage assets in Carmarthenshire, some of which belong to the council, some NRW, some Welsh Water and some Network Rail.

Cllr Speake said he felt these organisations were not “working on the same frequency” and that council officers could learn from elected members.

A council officer said officers had engaged with councillors representing the areas affected, while executive board member for environment, Cllr Hazel Evans, said Cllr Speake had sent his apologies for absence for a democratic services unit meeting in which Storm Callum was discussed.

Cllr Speake replied: “That was internal – that’s the point I’m trying to make.”

The recommendations of the report are not a solution to flooding but will provide evidence when future flood defence schemes are proposed.

The environmental and public protection committee accepted the report, which will be considered by the executive board in due course.