Flood defences urgently needed to prevent 'disaster' in Leeds, urges MP Rachel Reeves

Devastating floods hit Kirkstall on Boxing Day 2015
Devastating floods hit Kirkstall on Boxing Day 2015
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Leeds MP Rachel Reeves has urged Conservative and Labour finance chiefs to fund new flood defences to protect the city from another flood disaster.

Writing to Chancellor Sajid Javid, and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Ms Reeves said that without new defences Leeds could see another 'catastrophic' disaster like the floods of Boxing Day 2015.

MP Rachel Reeves is urging the government to fully fund a flood defence scheme

MP Rachel Reeves is urging the government to fully fund a flood defence scheme

Devastating floods struck Kirkstall and Burley in Ms Reeves' Leeds West constituency and left more than 2600 homes and 700 businesses damaged.

Ms Reeves has urged Labour and Conservative leaders to invest in Phase Two of the Flood Alleviation Scheme to prevent another flood disaster.

The scheme, devised by Leeds City Council, will provide Leeds with a 1-in-200-year level of protection from flooding.

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The Government has committed to spending £65 million on this project with a total of £86.8 million in funding secured.

However, this figure falls £25.3 million short of the £112.1 million which Ms Reeves says is required to provide the city with the protection it needs.

Despite the Government promising one of the 'most resilient flood defences in the country', Ms Reeves claims that Kirkstall is no better protected from flooding today than it was in 2015.

Writing to Mr Javid and Mr McDonnell, she said: "Leeds urgently needs an adequate flood defences scheme so that residents feel safe in their own homes and business owners can be confident that the future of their firms is not under threat."

Ms Reeves is calling on the Government to provide full funding for the scheme as a 'matter of urgency'.

Commenting on the letters, she said: “Almost four years ago, the Conservative Government promised they would keep Leeds residents safe from flooding – but they have failed to stump up the cash the city needs to build flood its new flood defences.

“The Government should now honour the pledge it made to the people of Leeds by providing that funding as a matter of urgency.

“As we head into a General Election, I will be fighting for the next Labour Government to deliver where the Conservatives have failed and keep Leeds safe from future devastating flooding.”

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