FLOOD victims, York residents and others filled Priory Street Centre yesterday evening to learn more about how the city could handle future floods at a special conference.

They heard from and talked to representatives from many organisations that were involved in dealing with the Christmas floods and their aftermath and are responsible for the city's flood prevention.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell, who organised the meeting, said: "It was a fantastic meeting. I think more came out of it than I was expecting. It was a positive meeting with many people engaging and getting practical and helpful advice."

Among those who attended were the Environment Agency, which has just released details of a £13 million scheme to repair the Foss Barrier, the National Flood Forum, which is hoping to set up community flood groups and flood warden schemes at street level to co-ordinate flood prevention and response similar to those already in existence in Lancashire and Cumbria, Brendan McCafferty, the chief executive of Flood: Re, the new insurance scheme to help people who live in flood areas to get insurance, the emergency services, British Telecom, Yorkshire Water and City of York Council.

The Flood Resilience Conference concentrated on looking forward on how to prevent the kind of problems experienced in December from happening in future.

As well as hearing talks from representatives of the different organisations, those attended were able to discuss their individual problems and concerns on a one to one basis.

Among concerns raised were the capacity of the replacement Foss Barrier pumps, which the agency hopes will cope with a flow of 40 cubic tonnes plus per second - at its peak on Boxing Day, the Foss was flowing at 35 cubic tonnes per second.

The meeting was the latest of several organised by the MP, who pledged that if more money is needed for flood prevention on the River Foss, she will fight for it at Westminster.