A NEW emergency plan for a flood-prone North Yorkshire town could be in place within weeks.

The environment committee of Tadcaster Town Council met on Tuesday to consider the draft Community Emergency Plan, which has been created to assist councillors and the public in times of crisis.

Earlier this month, the town was hit by flash flooding after a day of heavy rain, and although residents in the town now have access to sandbags and assistance from other organisations in times of need, the plan was drawn up to improve communication within the town, and help the council and emergency services assist vulnerable residents in time of need.

Robin Derry, from emergency planning at North Yorkshire County Council, told the meeting the new scheme would be in place within two to three weeks.

He said: "The plan is a list of local and outside contacts. We've tried to produce not just a list of numbers, but a flow diagram showing simple steps to take to act and give people the confidence to know what to do before the blue light services get here. There will be a version for council members and also for vulnerable people and for the general public, which will be available online."

Local resident Patrick Tunney said one restaurant had suffered £1,250 of damage in the flash floods, and said: "I know we can talk about emergency preparationsafter the event, but that's useless unless we're ready before the next event. If it can be avoided in future, I would be eternally grateful."

Mr Derry said: "We are looking into the causes and potential solutions into alleviating flooding on Bridge Street. With the sheer amount of water that evening and flashing nature, there was little to no warning, but we are working with Yorkshire Water and the Highways Agency at the causes of it that and at how we can avoid it happening again.

"We're also looking to do engagement workshops to show steps businesses can take so hopefully if it does happen again, the damage won't be as bad. We know what the problems are, and we are trying to help."