Bashir: Flood-hit businesses need info as well as help

Flood-hit businesses in Yorkshire need a lot of help - but most of all they need better information.

That was conclusion of MEP Amjad Bashir, Furbisher Media client, after a morning spent with devastated shopkeepers and restaurateurs in Leeds.

"Many of these poor folk are completely in the dark - in every sense of the word," said Mr Bashir ater his visit last week.

"They have no electricity and no information.

"They are just waiting to to know whether their premises are safe to re-enter and whether their electricity can be restored to let them get on with the horrible task of cleaning up. Sadly official information is just about non-existent."

The Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber spoke out after witnessing first hand the frustration of people whose businesses on Kirkstall Road have been hit.

He said: "I am small-business spokesman for our group in the parliament so I was especially anxious to see for myself how they are coping in these terrible circumstances.

"This is an amazing little business community and I spoke to people running restaurants, chip shops, jewellers, an electrical goods shop and even a pet shop...the whole range.

"They have been hit so hard but they are very resilient. They just want to start putting things right but the biggest problem for them all was lack of official information.

"They cannot get hold of insurance companies or power companies and they just feel they have been left to sort everything out themselves.

"There are lots of good-hearted volunteers on hand but they cannot do a lot until the businesses have things like pumps and until they know when their power might be restored.

"There are also a lot of foodstuffs in people's cellars and this cannot simply be thrown out without some arrangement for collection - otherwise we will be creating a public health hazard.

"None of them has been through this before. They are simply bewildered. They would all feel a lot better with a little more information."

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