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Are we paying price for years of neglect?
YOUR report relating to the York City Surface Water Management Plan makes sober reading.
It has been apparent for a number of years that gulley emptying and maintenance of the city’s drainage infrastructure has been neglected, but it comes as a surprise that there are no records of York’s flood infrastructure and its condition.
It is also reported that repairs and works to ameliorate flooding problems have “been badly executed and ill thought-out”. This begs the question as to why the council commissioned and then accepted these works. Is this a direct consequence of the demise of the city engineer?
In addition, the Water Management Plan identifies “numerous locations where development has aggravated flood risk”. Any development on a flood plain has implications with respect to flooding as it transfers (increases) flooding elsewhere. When approving the Germany Beck proposal, was the effect of the scheme on flooding taken into account? If so, could the details be made available?
CJFP Jones, The Mount, York.
•CITY of York Council spent nearly £100,000 on the Fordlands Road “super care home” plans before abandoning the scheme last week over flooding and space concerns.
If the Labour cabinet member had ensured more effective scrutiny before she formally chose the site in April, at least some of this expenditure (architect fees, officer time, etc) could have been avoided.
After all, residents told council officers about the planning constraints of the site, and flooding in that area of Fulford was always a potential problem.
The U-turn also calls into question any continued support for the 700 home Germany Beck development nearby. While the council is now not willing to take the risk of building on the Fordlands site partly due to the flooding concerns, we must adequately access the flooding risk for not just new residents, but as importantly, for existing residents in the wider area.
Last week’s floods on the site and the revelation that York’s flood defences are at breaking point, cannot be ignored. For the council and developer to say that full details on flooding and drainage measures will only be revealed when building work starts, is just not good enough.
Coun Keith Aspden (Lib Dem), Main Street, Fulford.
•THE headline in The Press of December 5 said: “Floods blamed on lack of cash.”
Well, anybody with a brain would know that under-funding is the problem, and has always been.
Under Labour, former Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said in the financial year before his party lost the election that they had run out of money for flood defences in York, Malton and Pickering, but money would be available the following year.
So now we have a new Government and the drainage system needs to completely up-graded. Hugh Bayley needs to bring this up in Parliament.
If nobody does anything, then York will be flooded every year. My MP is Julian Sturdy, who represents Outer York and cannot do anything. This Government can give billions away in foreign aid when we are sinking.
Tom Mitchell, Mendip Close, Huntington, York.
•OVER the past few weeks, we have heard of flooding from various parts of Britain, some from rivers and some from drains unable to cope with the excess water.
Many presenters have told us that rivers have burst their banks. Except when the banks have been artificially raised, and land on either side is lower than the top of the banks, this is impossible.
Most flooding is caused by watercourses overtopping and therefore flooding the adjoining land.
Burst banks cause a surge of water on to lower land. Over topping is a much slower, gradual happening.
I hope all media presenters can get their facts right in future.