Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“Leeds is barely mentioned in this report which really does smack of the government not taking the risk here seriously. Storm Eva caused absolute devastation for residents and businesses in Leeds, with many still recovering. The people of Leeds need the new Secretary of State to come out and confirm she will stick to the promises made to the city by her predecessor earlier this year. Namely that funding will be made available to provide protection from the River Aire upstream from Leeds Station along the Kirkstall Road corridor. The silence on this is becoming increasingly concerning, especially as the report says flood defences for cities are now only the ‘ultimate aim’, as opposed to the ‘whatever it takes’ line previously used by government.
“As we know to our cost there has been a severe lack of long-term planning when it comes to funding for flood defences and there is nothing in this report to offer comfort on that level. What we can’t have is a repeat of what happened with the cancelled flood defences in Leeds in 2011, so I have invited the Secretary of State to visit so she can meet some of the residents and businesses so badly affected by Storm Eva, although I still await her response.”
The full review report published by the government today can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/551137/national-flood-resilience-review.pdf