Where is our £23m? Leeds demands answers in wake of Storm Ciara flooding - Laura Collins, YEP Editor
The devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015 in Leeds were indefensible.
Yet fast forward nearly five years and the inaction of central Government to properly protect our city from a repeat of the catastrophic flooding is simply reckless.
As Storm Ciara battered the city, many families and businesses were left fearful their homes, properties and memories would be once again destroyed by filthy flood water.
It was an eerie sense of deja vu for our great city as the river levels continued to rise posing a threat that the beating heart of the Northern Powerhouse would once again find itself submerged.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Work on flood alleviation schemes continues but why is it taking so long to provide the full defence it so desperately needs?
After all, defences in upper reaches of the River Aire – which this money would fund – would help control the flow of water downstream towards Leeds and, thereby, lessen the risks in the city.
It would, potentially, lessen the likelihood of trains on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines – two of the busiest commuter lines in the North - being halted because of flooding at Kirkstall.
They said then that ‘money was no object’. Yet now Leeds is once again on flood alert – thankful that it had a narrow escape – perhaps in turn due to the work already underway on flood protection.
Five years ago this newspaper issued a warning to the Government at the time to look at investing in protecting our city. However, it is simply unthinkable that we find ourselves in the same position yet again.
As the black sludge and the river levels recede we call on you Prime Minister to commit the cash to give the city of Leeds the flood protection it deserves.
It shouldn’t take another flooding disaster, Boris Johnson, for you to act.