Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds calls for £3m flood protection cash from government

A man drives through the flood-waters on Kirkstall Road in central Leeds on December 27 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The council wants money to fund initial work on improving flood defences along Kirkstall Road

Council chiefs are to ask the government for £3m to fund preparatory work for the second phase of a flood alleviation scheme.

More than 2,200 Leeds properties flooded after the rivers Aire and Wharfe burst their banks in the wake of Storm Eva.

The scheme is aimed at improving defences along Kirkstall Road.

A £180m flood scheme for Leeds was shelved by the government in 2011 in favour of a much smaller scheme.

The city council's executive will discuss its latest flood recovery plan on 20 January, while work on phase one of the scheme continues.

Council leader Judith Blake said: "As the clean-up and recovery continues, our next priority as a city is to examine the lessons we need to learn, and to have the necessary debates and discussions as quickly as possible, including doing everything in our power to persuade government for immediate action on providing Leeds with comprehensive flood defences.

"If we had been able to get on with the scheme way back we might be in a different place now."

Leeds flooding in numbers

  • 1,732 Homes flooded

  • 519 Businesses flooded

  • 14 Other properties flooded, including the Industrial Museum, in Armley, and Leeds Rhino's training facilities, in Kirkstall

  • 5.2 Peak height in metres of River Aire at Armley on 27 December - typical level is 1.5m

Getty Images

Members of the executive will also be asked to seek government commitment to the second and third phases of the scheme and to approve an investigation into the causes and impacts of the floods in Leeds.

The report due to go before the executive says, future flood resilience and alleviation is "a critical issue for the city".

Mrs Blake said the council was "committed to doing everything we can to help people get back on their feet".

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