FM's flood return visit with £2.3m pledge for at-risk communities

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Media captionCarwyn Jones made the financial pledge on a visit to north Wales

Carwyn Jones has returned to north Wales to visit a flood-hit village where residents were left waiting for him a week ago.

Residents in Tal-y-Bont near Bangor expressed anger last week after the first minister did not show up.

Mr Jones has apologised but said he did not know they had been expecting him.

He said £2.3m funding to protect communities will be used to help those affected by flooding over Christmas.

"The money's there," he said. "I can't understand why people are saying the money's been refused, it's been there throughout this financial year.

"The issue as I understand it has been the easements to get pipes across people's land. Now that's been resolved, there's no reason the scheme can't move forward."

Mr Jones said the £2.3m for flooding is new cash, handed over to the Welsh government in December as part of the UK's autumn spending statement.

Image copyright Carl Hudson/Wales Air Ambulance
Image caption This view of flooding in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, captured by Wales Air Ambulance Paramedic Carl Hudson on Monday

On the A55, which also flooded, effectively cutting off north west Wales, he added: "The problem is that the A55 was built in the 1980s to a much lower standard than it would be today. We're having to put that right.

"The flooding issues on the A55 will be dealt with. The scheme to improve the section between Abergwyngregyn and Tai Meibion was withdrawn by the then minister who preferred to concentrate on north - south schemes. It's now back on the table and work will start in 2017.

"Lots of roads flood. It doesn't mean we shrug our shoulders. The A55 is as important to the north as the M4 is to the south. We want to make sure the roads are as clear as possible."

Image copyright Heather Hammond
Image caption The Glanrafon estate in Bontnewydd, Gwynedd, was hit by flooding

Resident Eirlys Evans, whose home was hit by the Christmas flooding, last week said she was "disappointed and disgusted" about Mr Jones not visiting.

She met him on Tuesday and said: "I hope he will stick to his word and stick by us in the north. We need to get a flood defence now because when it rains, we're petrified.

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Media captionResident Eirlys Evans was flooded at Christmas for the second time

"I would've thought they would have learnt by the second time. Now it's the third time."

Before visiting Tal-y-Bont, Mr Jones also went to speak to residents at Bontnewydd near Caernarfon.

Homes on the Glanrafon estate there were badly hit when the Afon Gwyrfai burst its banks on the same day.

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