Government pledges to back Leeds flood fight

DECEMBER 2015: An aerial picture over the Kirkstall Road area.

DECEMBER 2015: An aerial picture over the Kirkstall Road area.

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The Prime Minister has indicated that she will support the fight against flooding in Leeds.

The reassurance came following a meeting between MPs from Leeds, plus the leader of the City Council, and the new Floods Minister, Therese Coffey.

It had been feared the new government under Theresa May might renege on promises made during David Cameron’s tenure to help residents and businesses be better protected from flooding.

But those representing the city came away from yesterday’s meeting positive that extra funds are still going to be made available to help protect the city against major incidents like the last Boxing Day

It means that work can continue on a business case for a new flood defence scheme upstream from the city centre to provide protection including, in the Kirkstall area, the launch of some new insurance products.

The government has also agreed to talk to Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency about whether something can be done to make it easier for small businesses to access support and advice in making their properties more flood resilient.

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West said: “It is encouraging that supporting Leeds and providing the protection against floods that is needed for business and homes is a priority for the new Ministers at Defra.

“It is ten months now since the devastating floods and I won’t rest until I know that businesses in Kirkstall are getting the support they need.”

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