Yorkshire Post on Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme
On Boxing Day there was coverage in the Yorkshire Post marking the third anniversary of flooding when Storm Eva hit Leeds and Yorkshire. The piece incorrectly states that the Government is still to sign off funding for phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme which would protect a far greater area at a cost of £112m.
In October Minister Coffey met local MPs to discuss the funding options for the Leeds flood Alleviation Scheme. During the meeting Minister Coffey made clear that it would not be possible for the Government to commit more than £65 million to the scheme because the additional funding requested from government was needed after the end of the current long-term funding settlement.
In November the Leeds City Council Council leader Judith Blake announced a proposal to work with the Environment Agency to proceed with a “pragmatic two-step solution” providing enhanced flood protection measures for phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme. The Government has committed £65m towards delivering this solution, which will offer protection from potential flooding to Leeds and neighbouring areas along the River Aire catchment.
The Government is investing £2.6 billion to better protect the country from flooding. That means:
- 1,500 flood defence schemes, which will better protect 300,000 homes by 2021.
- This is a real terms increase on £1.7 billion invested between from 2010 and 2015; and the £1.5 billion between 2005 and 2010.
- The six year commitment from 2015 to 2021 means we are providing greater certainty, gaining efficiencies and leveraging more contributions, meaning better protection for even more communities.
Defra’s funding has already secured £447 million in additional partnership funding contribution since 2015; by 2021 we expect this to rise to more than £600 million, meaning even more communities will be better protected.
Three years into the six-year programme, 147,634 homes are now better protected thanks to more than 400 schemes completed by risk management authorities through the Defra supported defence improvement programme since April 2015.