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Monday, 28 December 2015

Government cuts meant 'tough choices' for flood maintenance projects in Yorkshire

Chair of Yorkshire Flood Committee warned in October that government cuts meant flood maintenance projects in region could be stopped. Documents show that the Chair of the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) warned about the potential impact of the region’s revenue funding gap just weeks before the floods this Christmas.

Minutes of the Yorkshire RFCC meeting on 22nd October show that the Chair - Professor Colin Mellors - warned that funding cuts from central government would mean tough choices for the region. In his report to the Committee he said “with ever tighter budgets, it is clear that there will need to be even firmer prioritisation, especially in relation to maintenance activity.”

In particular, he warned that the Committee would “most likely be asked in the New Year to consider sites where maintenance might be formally discontinued.” In other words key projects in the affected areas would need to be scrapped because of a lack of funding. The revenue funding gap in the region has been driven by central government cuts to local government funding as well as Defra’s own budget.

Commenting, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Jon Trickett said: "These documents show the devastating impact the Tory Government’s cuts are having on the region. The Tories’ failure to adequately fund our flood defences mean key projects are being put at risk. Instead of posing for the cameras it’s time David Cameron got a grip and gave the region the support it needs."