YP Letters: Floods and why we need a parliament of the North

Residential streets and a children's play area are covered by floodwater after the River Ouse bursts its banks in York city centre. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Residential streets and a children's play area are covered by floodwater after the River Ouse bursts its banks in York city centre. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
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From: Simon Burdis, St Anthony’s Close, Milnthorpe, Cumbria.

IN view of the multiple crises impacting on the North of England, it is clear we need a regional parliament for the North. Everywhere from York, Leeds and Manchester northwards to the Scottish border should be part of a unified Northern region with at least the same devolved powers as Scotland.

Our elected MPs should be our regional representatives sharing their time between the Northern Regional Parliament and Westminster. There would be no need for a new, expensive, parliament building – they could make do with the many, underused, public venues available convening in rotation at locations around the region, spending two or three months at a time in York, Leeds, Manchester, Carlisle and Newcastle upon Tyne, for example.

Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been spent on warfare, nuclear weapons which cannot protect us against terrorism and on subsidising the failed nuclear power industry which is not low carbon when the full nuclear fuel cycle is taken into consideration. This misuse of public funds has left the North without the basic infrastructure to cope with climate change, storm and flood damage.

From: David Baldwin, Brighton Road, Lancing.

THE only good thing about ‘HS2’ is that it will be able to deliver flood-aid faster.

Apart from the ‘puffed-up egos’ of the local luminaries, I still fail to see any other benefit of being able to travel to London from the centre of Leeds to London half-an-hour faster than at present at a (current) cost of £51bn.

Do all of the London travellers live in the centre of Leeds, or other cities on the meandering route?

I lived in Embsay when I used to travel to London on a regular basis, but had to travel to Leeds before the final leg of my journey started. Forty minutes from Skipton to Leeds, then a mere two hours from Leeds to King’s Cross.

The ‘HS2’ money would be far-better spent on flood defences throughout the country, which would also deliver faster returns for everyone concerned, with the exception of those concerned.

David Cameron is clueless and George Osborne obnoxious with their throw-away lines about the Northern Powerhouse. Should we use the water to create power?

From: Mrs NJ Strachan, Leaventhorpe Lane, Thornton, Bradford.

WILL someone please tell the Met Office to stop naming the storms? It seems to be attracting the blessed things.

From: Anthony Crosby BSc, Trevor Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham.

THE cost to the UK economy of flood prevention and refurbishment after flooding in Yorkshire is now significant and is likely to increase in the future.

I wish to make a suggestion to the Environment Agency. The Agency could investigate prevention of flooding in Yorkshire towns by drainage of flood water in a network of pipes and channels and, at the same time, generate hydro-electric power from the flood waters.

From: John Dunkin, Landsdowne Walk, London.

THE residents of flood- ravaged Mytholmroyd have reported a lack of Government help and that they would have received instant aid if they lived in Syria.

Yorkshire, heavily affected by the floods, was dismembered by the government in 1970s, airbrushing out the 1,000 year old Ridings, and replacing them with small, hybrid regions easier to control from Westminster and our masters in Brussels.

From: Reverend Geoffrey F. Squire, Barnstaple, Devon.

IT is sad to see yet again the pictures of the flooding in York and Selby on the television. However, there is one thing that puzzles me and it is why so many people simply wait for the council to protect their homes rather than having waterproof floodboards at the ready to fix across their doors.

Some years ago we used to live in a flood-prone area of Barnstaple in Devon where tidal floods of up to two feet were experienced in the house. We fixed a sealed frame on to the wall at the two doors and made a waterproof plywood panel to fix with 4 wing-nuts with thick foam strip in between whenever floods were possible. We also made a tiny one for a ventilator. With two foot of water outside, all that came through was about a cup full.

Just is case water did get in, we fixed vinyl sheeting to the floors with sealed edges and used 
loose carpets rather than fitted ones.

We had all cable joints and sockets a metre from the floor and used a hob and high-level oven rather than a cooker and solid wood or metal fixtures.

If floods threatened, we would take up the carpets and remove the soft furnishings from the seating and place them, along with anything else that would be damaged, on tables or shelves or upstairs. To keep the car dry, we would park it about half a mile uphill.

It will not work with every type of house as water can creep up under the floors, but even then it will keep the mud and debris out. Every householder should at least try it, as it could save them a lot of problems and costs.

I even made a little battery-operated flood alarm with a large cork to make contact and a bell. It was in the tool shed lower down in the garden so it gave us warning of an approaching flood. I hope that my suggestion may be helpful.