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Flood scheme 'underfunded' says MP

York floods 2015

A York MP has called for the government to commit further money to a flood defence scheme that was backed in last week’s Budget.

York Central representative Rachael Maskell asked floods minister Rory Stewart in Parliament to upgrade the Foss Barrier improvement scheme.

The Army was called in over the Christmas period to help Environment Agency staff get the Foss Barrier working after high river levels flooded the pump room and affected the power system.

Chancellor George Osborne last week pledged to spend an extra £700M over the next five years on flood defences, with Budget documents showing the Foss flood defence upgrade scheme in York would start by March 2019.

Maskell said in Parliament: “York welcomes the investment in our flood defences, but the Foss barrier will be underfunded by this government for the improvement that it needs, and the capacity of the pumps will be 40t/s, not the 50t/s that is needed.

“Will the minister commit to considering that issue, to ensure that we have sufficient funds to improve the barrier?

Stewart replied: “We have significant funds for the barrier, and we are committed to considering that issue. I am happy to go and look at the Foss barrier with the honourable lady.

“The calculation on the pumps is an engineering calculation, and we would be happy to look at the flood maps with the honourable lady. We will provide the correct funds for the correct solution for the Foss Barrier.”

 

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