Yorkshire flood envoy scrapped
The position for flooding envoy in Yorkshire is being abandoned as the total cost for the improvements to flood defences skyrockets to over £73 million.
Following the devastating floods that hit on Boxing Day, David Cameron appointed Robert Goodwill (MP for Scarborough and Whitby) to manage the response and clean-up of communities such as York and Tadcaster.
Part of his job was to pinpoint ways to protect the region from these kind of floods in the future.
City of York Council’s executive member for environment, Andrew Walker, said that at a Yorkshire Regional Flood and Costal Committee meeting, it was revealed that the position had been discarded during the re-shuffle by the new Prime Minister Theresa May and that Mr Goodwill was assigned a different ministerial role.
Andrew Waller has said he hopes the decision to scrap the envoy did not indicate the Government’s prioritisation of flood defences has lowered since the subject has begun receding from the headlines. This was the case years beforehand after the floods that hit in 2000.
Councillor Waller said that £45 million had been allocated for improvements to flood defences across York – without including the £17 million that is being spent on the upgrade to the pumping station and on the Foss barrier. However, the figure has now increased to £51 million up till 2020/21, with an additional £22 million in 2021/2022.
He hailed the decision by the committee to endorse a bid to receive funding from the Government but is worried that York’s ‘strapped for cash’ local authority may be required to contribute £6.5 million over a six-year period.
After Mr Goodwill was appointed in January, he spoke of the devastating aftermath of the Boxing Day floods in Yorkshire and he stated he was “determined” to do all that he could for the communities to help protect the area from the destruction flooding can cause.
“This is about ensuring people get the support they need as they repair their homes and rebuild their businesses.”
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Kirsty Rogers, Pali Ltd
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