A PARISH council of a Dales community severely hit by recent floods is appealing for the allocation of funding to be widened to allow parish councils to access immediate emergency funding.

Arkengarthdale Parish Council has been working with communities to identify the most serious repair work required to protect properties, livestock and businesses in the future – but has a £10,000 shortfall it urgently needs to fill.

Despite donations of £5,000 from the Duke of Norfolk, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, and a potential £10,000 from Richmondshire District Council in the form of an emergency loan.

However, while this will allow for certain projects to commence it will not support the extensive works required to repair the vast amount of damage caused by the flood.

To help prevent further erosion and damage to the land, and potential flooding to properties and businesses, the main priority is clearing approximately four miles of the Arkle Beck from the top of the dale down to Sleigill.

The council said this work is essential to protect the community and maintain the sustainability of the dale for residents and visitors alike.

It is estimated that more than £25,000 is required to carry out the urgent works so the parish council is facing a shortfall of at least £10,000. Immediately following the flood, a disaster fund was set up, managed by Two Ridings Community Foundation, and donations from many businesses and members of the public have "overwhelmed" the council.

The council has applied for support from the fund, but has been advised that parish councils are currently not eligible as the priorities lie with households and small businesses affected by the flooding. This situation apparently may change in the future, however the council needs the funding now.

Stephen Stubbs, chairman of Arkengarthdale Parish Council said: " We have a clear strategy of what is required in terms of repair and preventative maintenance to help ensure residents and businesses are protected from unexpected heavy rainfall in the future. Our number one priority is get businesses up and running, to safeguard the community and livelihoods as well as continuing to be a go-to destination for walkers, cyclists and other visitors. The work needs to be done as a matter of a matter of urgency and it is, therefore, very frustrating not to be able to access this funding knowing that the general public have donated money to support the Dales in good faith."

The council's action immediately after the flood to remove debris, in particular at Whaw where a footbridge had blocked the main bridge into the village, has prevented further flooding in the days after the flash floods.

Mr Stubbs said: "A tremendous response from volunteers and the Yorkshire Dales National Park saw the completely blocked bridleway to Storthwaite cleared and opened in a day.

"Another priority is to remove and replace chippings throughout Langthwaite which were contaminated with silt, mud and diesel from three oil tanks which disappeared during the flood."