RESIDENTS in Tadcaster say progress is being made on a plan to help the town prepare for future flooding.

Following the floods in December 2015, which seriously damaged 79 properties and caused part of the town's bridge to collapse, splitting the town in two for more than a year, a report was ordered by North Yorkshire County Council.

A flood forum held in the town last week looked at the four recommendations of the report, with experts from the Environment Agency, the Met Office, the council's emergency response team and Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty.

The report recommended improvement of the town's flood defences, a resilience programme to make properties less likely to be damaged by high water, drainage works to be carried out around the town - particularly in the high street - to help cope with heavy rain, and better warning systems and action plans to help the community prepare for future flooding.

David Bewley is a member of the Tadcaster Flood Action Group, which organised the forum to bring residents up to speed on the recommendations and progress.

He said good progress had already been made on the resilience plan, with most of the properties flooded in 2015 already having taken advantage of the Flood Resilience Grants offered by the Government.

Mr Bewley said: ""We welcome the support we have received from Nigel Adams, it is encouraging to the group to know our MP is supporting everything we do as volunteers working in the community."

Mr Bewley also said the community was now much better prepared for future flooding, with the delivery of two large portable pumps to the town, which can be deployed immediately to deal with any surface water flooding.

The town's flood warning system has also been improved, with the installation of an online camera constantly monitoring the river level under the newly repaired bridge, allowing flood warnings to be issued earlier, and giving people more time to prepare.

Mr Adams praised the work already done in the area, and said he was grateful for the action group's efforts.

He said: "I would like to thank the Tadcaster Flood Action Group for organising the event. The recent report from North Yorkshire County Council makes four very clear recommendations and I will be giving my full support to the projects that follow through and deliver on these recommendations.

"Good progress has been made on resilience, warning systems and immediate local response including the ability to deploy pumps. I am pleased that now that the existing flood defences along the River Wharfe have all been repaired following the 2015 flooding that the Environment Agency is now focussed on finding the most effective way to reduce the risk of flooding in the future."