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Cash boost for Yorkshire's flood defence programme

FUNDING FOR new flood defences in Yorkshire has doubled from £9M in 1999 to £18M in 2002.

Environment Agency regional flood defence manager David Wilkes said the increased funding would ensure that vital new defence work would now go ahead without further delay.

Funds for 2002 were boosted at the beginning of January as Flood Minister Elliot Morley gave £3.8M in grant aid for raising defences alongside the River Derwent. This will protect the towns of Malton, Norton and Old Malton.

The cash comes from a funding pot of £80M for 2002-2003 agreed by the Government in November 2000.

Local flood defence committees in Yorkshire also agreed to a 10% increase in their Agency funding. This will contribute £19.9M to Yorkshire's overall £38.7M budget for new build, maintenance and operation for 2002-2003.

Wilkes said that the Agency region was still hoping for funding to rise more in the long run.

'We need 10 years to do everything we need, ' he said.

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