Combined Authority presses case for Yorkshire flooding summit as anniversary looms

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is asking the Government to deliver on its commitment to hold a summit on flooding for the whole of Yorkshire.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is asking the Government to deliver on its commitment to hold a summit on flooding for the whole of Yorkshire. 

The Authority is calling for a single joined-up discussion with all partners involved in flood resilience at a Yorkshire level including representatives of Government, MPs, council leaders, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. 

Working with partner councils and the Environment Agency, the Combined Authority is developing a pipeline of future flood resilience schemes and proposals for a natural flood management programme.  

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: 

“As we approach winter and the fifth anniversary of the Boxing Day floods which devastated homes and businesses in West Yorkshire, we want to make sure we continue and accelerate work to reduce the risk of a repeat in the future. 

“The efforts we are all making to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic must not distract from making the long term investment we need in our infrastructure to ensure we recover in a way that improves standards of living for all our communities. Improving the resilience of our businesses is key to the West Yorkshire economic recovery plan we set out earlier this year, 

“The flooding events West Yorkshire and the rest of the country have experienced in recent years show they cannot be dismissed as one-off extreme events. We must be prepared for more of them as climate change impacts on our weather system.” 

Since the 2015 floods, the Combined Authority is investing £20 million from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, alongside over £170 million of partner funding, into flood alleviation schemes across the region. To date, over £17 million has been awarded to eight projects with a total value of £195 million.  

Projects include Skipton, Mytholmroyd and Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) 1, alongside the Wyke Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme, and natural flood management projects in the Colne, Calder and Upper Aire catchment areas.  

Approvals have recently been granted for Leeds FAS2 and Hebden Bridge. When complete, the programme will safeguard up to 1,385 businesses and at least 11,100 jobs from the risk of flood.