Government confirms Yorkshire flooding summit to finally take place

The long-awaited South Yorkshire flooding summit will finally take place almost a year on from the devastating floods that battered our region last November.

The South Yorkshire Mayor and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis welcomed the confirmation by the Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) that the flooding summit will take place on Thursday 8 October, following previous campaigning for 12 months to accelerate flood prevention measures.

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Speaking ahead of a flooding debate in Parliament tomorrow, Mayor Jarvis said: "It is better late than never that the long-awaited South Yorkshire flooding summit will now take place but the residents, businesses and communities that were battered by the floods last November have been waiting for far too long for this to happen.

The village of Fishlake, Doncaster, submerged under flood water in November 2019 Picture: Tom Maddick / SWNS

"We have been pushing for this summit to take place for almost 12 months. It’s an issue that I have repeatedly raised in Parliament but I’m pleased this will now take place next month. “I would like to extend an invitation to the Prime Minister to join the summit and to see for himself our plans to improve the region’s flood defences and mitigation.

"This summit is just the start of how we tackle flooding in our region. I’m calling on the Government to back our £270 million Flooding Response Plan, which would protect 10,300 homes and 2,800 across the region. This is a costed, credible and affordable plan that we are stood by to deliver. We now need to see the same commitment from the Government."

The confirmation date for the South Yorkshire flooding summit comes after campaigning by The Yorkshire and the elected mayor of the Sheffield City Region.

Previously in a letter sent to flooding minister Rebecca Pow, Mr Jarvis said the November floods had a devastating impact across many parts of South Yorkshire, with almost 1,000 homes and 560 businesses affected and many still facing repair work or unable to return home.

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis. Photo: JPI Media

And he said coronavirus has added to the problems facing communities already hit hard by the floods.

The Government previously announced it would double its investment into flood prevention to £5.2bn over the next six years.

The long-awaited summit will look at preventing major floods like those that struck South Yorkshire last year.

Almost 1,000 homes and 564 businesses were affected by flooding, including in Fishlake and Bentley near Doncaster.

In February the Mr Jarvis and local authority leaders in liaison with the Environment Agency produced their own £270 million “nature-friendly” flood priority plan to cover the Rivers Don, Rother, Dearne and their tributaries.

It includes 25 separate schemes, several of which are led by the Environment Agency with others by one of the four South Yorkshire local authorities or partners like Internal Drainage Boards.

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James Mitchinson