Whaley Bridge dam

Whaley Bridge crisis cost council £700k

Eddie Bisknell

Local Democracy Reporter

The Toddbrook Dam crisis in Whaley Bridge has cost Derbyshire County Council £700,000.

The authority’s finance chief says it must get a hold of its finances to ensure its ability to combat similar emergencies does not decrease.

It had to fund its response to the potential disaster from its reserves.

Peter Handford, the council’s director of finance, had originally estimated the authority would have to draw £2m from its reserves to pay for its Toddbrook Dam response – listed in its five-year plan to be agreed next week.

Whaley Bridge
Getty Images

This, it is thought, has now been reduced to £700,000 due to the estimate being forecast “before we knew that the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was paying for the helicopter,” the council says.

The helicopter, a Chinook from RAF Odiham, was commissioned for a combined 72 hours over several days to drop more than 600 tonnes of aggregate on the damaged Toddbrook Dam to prevent it from breaching.

The council’s reduced estimate suggests the cost of the Chinook could be £1.3 million – a cost which has not been confirmed by Defra, the Ministry of Defence or Derbyshire Police.

Ay up me duck: Sneaky beak at Whaley Bridge repairs

Liam Barnes

BBC News

It's been nice weather for ducks for much of the summer, and two mardy-looking mallards have been inspecting repair works being carried out at Toddbrook Reservoir.

The recent downpours certainly ruffled a few feathers, and none more so than in Whaley Bridge, where 1,500 residents were evacuated over fears the dam could collapse.

The Canal & River Trust confirmed today repairs could take up to three years to finish, but these two couldn't resist sticking their beaks in for an early peek.

Toddbrook Reservoir Whaley Bridge dam
PA Media
Whaley Bridge: Boy recreates dam crisis with toys
Four-year-old Freddie McManus learnt all about the operation to save the town from a dam burst.