FLOOD-HIT York residents should be in no doubt that an independent inquiry would provide answers over the raising of the Foss Barrier.

City of York Council leader Chris Steward and deputy leader Keith Aspden said on Thursday that officers had been instructed to set up an independent review, with the participation of all political groups and key organisations in the style of a 'select committee'.

Cllr Steward said: "We believe that an independent overview taking place promptly after the event is necessary both to answer residents’ questions regarding the decisions that were taken and why and to learn lessons for the future.

"This is not a witch hunt - many aspects of the crisis were met with great effort and efficiency and I have nothing but praise for the way council employees responded to the challenge- but certainly there were decisions taken which need to be scrutinised in light of this era of unstable weather."

>>> Gallery: 173 photos from the recent floods in and around York

York Press:

Local businessman Michael Hammill shared an email exchange he had with Cllr Steward, Labour leader Cllr Janet Looker, York MPs Julian Sturdy and Rachael Maskell, and flooding envoy Robert Goodwill MP.

Mr Hammill called for an emergency meeting and independent investigation into what went wrong with the flood defences, and what was being done to prevent future problems.

Cllr Steward told Mr Hammill York residents should be in no doubt that "councillors and the MP work purely for residents and that will mean getting the answers".