Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
8:56 PM 27th December 2020

MP Responds To More Flooding In York

On the heels of the 5th anniversary of the 2015 devastating floods, the MP for York Central, Rachael Maskell, has once again shared her frustration as York experiences its third flood over 4m this year. The Viking Recorder is saying that the River Ouse is likely to peak at 4m tomorrow as a response to the rainfall in the Dales from Storm Bella.

River Ouse in flood, York - photo Chris Buckridge
River Ouse in flood, York - photo Chris Buckridge
The frequency of flooding in York is increasing at a worrying pace, and the failure of Government and its agencies to act is unacceptable. 5 years ago, 453 households and 174 businesses flooded as Storm Eva hit over Christmas 2015. Since then, we have seen further flooding - but this year alone we have seen 3 floods reaching over 4m in height. While not expected to impact households, it will have an impact on riverside businesses, with some already no longer insurable because of the frequency of the flooding.

Having recently met with one of the businesses affected, they described the impact frequent flooding was having on their business and their own emotional wellbeing. The continued inaction to address the challenges they face, alongside the increased risk of flooding, is just one more nail in the coffin for them.

Many properties have been spared on this occasion; however, it would not take much for their properties to flood as Property Level Resilience has not been completed. Today, Rachael Maskell MP has written to the Environment Agency to call on them to provide a guarantee for all works to be completed before the end of this financial year. She is also calling on them and the Government for serious attention to be paid to managing the upper catchment better and to bring forward investment in ‘slow the flow’ schemes on the Rivers Nidd, Swale and Ure which flow into the Ouse.

Rachael Maskell MP says:

“I take every opportunity in Parliament to raise the significant failures to protect households and businesses, and how the delays in providing protection to residents impacts on the stress they experience every time the river rises. Businesses are despairing at the lack of support they are receiving, not least as the insurance industry is turning its back on them.

“Today I have written to the Environment Agency to demand that Property Level Resilience measures are installed in all eligible properties before the end of this financial year, and would want to see an expediting of its plan for community schemes too. I have further written to the Flood’s Minister and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rebecca Pow, to call for a meeting. In February of this year George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, came to York to announce he was going to hold a Yorkshire Floods Conference in the city later in the year in May; yet the year is almost over and, three floods later, there is no sign of this taking place.

“I have tried to engage with the Floods Minister Rebecca Pow, but instead of showing concern she has avoided addressing the serious flooding issues that York is facing. It is unacceptable. I have therefore written to her to call for a meeting, to ask for the convening of a Yorkshire Flood Conference and to ensure that residents and businesses are supported.

“I am here to support all people impacted by Storm Bella, and can be contacted on or called on 01904 623713.”