Flood defences must be improved, says Wakefield Council leader

The government must improve flood defences after Yorkshire was hit by the worst floods in 70 years, a council leader said.

Thursday, 31st December 2015, 10:05 am
The A656 Barnsdale Road submerged after the River Aire burst its banks.

Roads, community buildings and businesses were submerged in water after Storm Eva struck on Boxing Day.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes and thousands more were left without power due to the widespread flooding.

Leeds, York and Calderdale were the hardest hit areas, while roads and buildings were submerged in water in the Wakefield district.

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Peter Box after announcing budget proposals LOCATION: Wakefield Town Hall

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box, who is also chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “Although Wakefield seems to have, so far, escaped the worst of the flooding many of our neighbouring local authorities have been devastated.

“It is clear that Yorkshire’s flood defences do not measure up to the extreme weather that is now becoming all too common.

“The government must have an urgent rethink of how our homes, businesses and infrastructure are defended against flooding.”

Coun Box wants the government to consult with local authorities to help improve flood defences.

He said: “Throughout Christmas, Wakefield Council has been helping our neighbour councils respond to the dire situations they have found themselves in, as well as dealing with our own flooding issues.

“We will continue to help our colleagues across the region as they tackle the aftermath.

“But we must have urgent assurance from the government that future flood defence and response will be reviewed and all local authorities should be part of this.”