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The Jubilee River story - Hugh Bayley attacks decision to halt
York and Thirsk flood works - 14 January 2011
Hugh Bayley attacks decision to halt flood works
Published Date: 14 January 2011
PLANS for flood defences in York and Thirsk have been put on hold in a move
criticised by an MP as "dangerous and false economy" that will cost the
public more in the long run.
Hugh Bayley, Labour MP for York Central, is concerned for the Leeman Road
and Water End area of his ward and said all new flood defence schemes have
been stopped indefinitely.
The Environment Agency's flood risk capital budget has been cut by 26 per
cent and it is only completing schemes already started, so hopes for new
projects have been dashed.
York's big flood in 2000 saw hundreds of soldiers and residents work through
the night to build a sandbag wall on top of flood defences to save a
thousand homes from flooding.
Mr Bayley MP said: "The risk of flooding is getting worse year by year.
"My constituents living in the Leeman Road area have already spent 10 years
living in fear of another big flood like the one we had in 2000 which came
so close to destroying their homes.
"It is dangerous and false economy to cut funding for flood defences, which
is likely to cost the public much more in the long run."
Funding for flood risk management was more than doubled by Labour
administrations last decade from £249m in 2000-01 to £514m in 2008-09, he
The Government pressed the Environment Agency last year to budget for new
flood defences in York in 2010-11 and the Agency had started public
consultation on its plans.
"Because of the bigger budget, it became possible to get the Leeman Road
defences into the programme and it is incredibly depressing to see all the
design work being thrown away and the scheme itself being delayed
indefinitely," he said.
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said the Yorkshire Regional Flood
Defence Committee would be discussing the issues raised by Mr Bayley on
January 27 in Leeds