Why did the Foss Barrier fail? It’s a question many are asking in the city, and now the York Central MP has joined the chorus.
Rachael Maskell took the shadow environment minister Kerry McCarthy to a number of the worst hit areas on Wednesday (December 30). Janet Looker, Labour group leader on the council, accompanied them.
Labour’s Ms Maskell said:
It is important to learn lessons from this.
The party was also going to the Foss Barrier to meet staff from the Environment Agency.
“I want to discuss what happened with them and to fully understand why they made the decision to lift the barrier,” Ms Maskell said.
“I have a number of questions to put to them. I want their assurance that the problems with the barrier have now been fully resolved and that this situation is unlikely to arise again in the future.”
More funding promised
On the same day, York Outer MP Julian Sturdy met with the Environment Secretary Liz Truss to discuss what can be done to help residents and businesses in the aftermath of the floods.
Ms Truss confirmed that over £2 million of funding had already been earmarked to upgrade the Foss Barrier and her department would look into Conservative MP Mr Sturdy’s request for making additional funding available for further improvements.
Mr Sturdy said:
The Prime Minister has also said that York will receive additional funds to make sure our city and surrounding villages are better protected from flooding in the future.
The Government announced yesterday that £50 million of extra funding will be made available immediately to York and other areas affected by the flooding.
The total funding, which now stands at £100 million, has been streamlined to ensure that it can be used as quickly as possible.
The additional funding will provide the City of York Council will extra resources to fund temporary accommodation costs whilst families move back into their homes.
Grants of up to £5,000 will also be provided to make homes and businesses in York more flood resilient against any future flooding.