YEP Says: Our volunteers deserve praise for Leeds flood battles

DECEMBER 2015: Flooding in Kirkstall, Leeds, over the Christmas period.
DECEMBER 2015: Flooding in Kirkstall, Leeds, over the Christmas period.
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IT’S HARD to think that a year ago today Leeds was plunged into chaos with the Boxing Day flooding.

Volunteers rallied to help the emergency services in what was a fantastic community effort to help preserve lives and save livelihoods. If you needed proof that Leeds was a true community, then this was it.

The remarkable clean-up effort, involving hundreds of volunteers, helped people get back on their feet by clearing debris and damage that the rainwater left in its wake.

Some of the biggest efforts were part of the Team Kirkstall clean-up programme.

There have been more than 15 riverbank clean-ups carried out and more than 150 volunteers have spent countless hours tackling the debris.

They have removed more than 12 tonnes of waste and flood debris from the River Aire.

The project manager said: “People keep coming to the clean ups, they really want to find a way to be more involved.”

That is fantastic work and we should be proud of our volunteers for showing that Leeds is a caring city.

But the Government really should be doing more.

It should match that commitment and determination by ensuring we have the proper defences that we need to make sure that we can prevent future floods.

Members of the reformed writing club Savage, pictured at Temple Works (Temple Mill), on Marshall Street, Holbeck, Leeds. Pictured (left to right) Robert St-John Smith, Peter Etherington, Heather Lloyd, Phil Kirby, Maria Protopapadaki-Smith (correct), Ivor Tymchak and Jamie Newman.

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