AN INQUIRY into the floods which devastated parts of York after Christmas is to go ahead.

City of York Council's Executive has rubber stamped the process to look into flood management functions by organisations including the council itself and the Environment Agency.

The agency has been at the centre of controversy over the failure of the Foss barrier and pumping station to save numerous properties alongside the Foss and its tributaries from serious flooding.

A report to the executive by assistant director Andy Docherty says it will review the emergency response, including the warnings given to householders and businesses of the likelihood of their premises being flooded, arrangements for supporting vulnerable residents, and the effectiveness of existing plans and mutual aid arrangements.

The report says: "It is important that the city has the opportunity to understand what contributed to the extent of that flooding, what went wrong and what worked well in managing the situation which arose.

"The inquiry will provide an opportunity for those directly affected by the flooding, the agencies involved, individuals with expertise in the subject matter of the review and elected representatives to provide evidence and express their views on the lessons which can be learned from the floods and the response to it."

The council is currently seeking applications to chair the inquiry. The report says the financial implications of the inquiry are difficult to determine at this stage and will be largely dependent on the need to pay any professional fees, but a budget of £50,000 will be set aside.