294 Flood Defence Schemes Cut

Spending £50 million on flood defences in Leeds, as reported in the Evening Post on 8th Feb, when the flooding in the UK on the 23-24th June 2012 cost £498 million alone. The cost of flooding can be enormous, it is worth spending more, to save more in the future. This Government needs to wake up to the cost of flooding. Plugging the gap in Leeds will just lead to flooding elsewhere in Yorkshire. This £50 million is a drop in the ocean, and only stops a once in 75 year flood.

The floods in 2012 came in the wake of government cuts to flood protection, which has seen 294 flood defence schemes cut which had indicative funding in place in 2010. The £50 million announced recently for Leeds, is just the reinstatement of one of those schemes. Rupert Ponsonby (Conservative) recently said in the House of Lords; “Despite hard times, we protected the flood budgets as far as possible with a 6% reduction in spend over the four years 2011-12 to 2014-15 compared with the previous four years.” I would not call a 6% drop in funding protecting spending. Because flood defences are a long term problem, the politicians rely on smoke and mirrors and hope for the best. Back in the late 1990s the BBC s climate change web site, predicted more extreme weather, more precipitation and floods, that is exactly what we are experiencing, only 10 years later.


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