This figure, calculated by the University of Leeds, would be infinitely higher if it was not for the determination of flooded firms to reopen as quickly as possible.
The study was also limited to Calderdale – it, therefore, does not include the losses that businesses across Yorkshire, and beyond, have suffered in multiple floods in recent years.
Nevertheless, today’s research findings do offer leverage as local leaders from across the region continue to press Defra – and the Environment Agency – to better protect communities at repeated risk of flooding. There’s still a sense, after Environment Secretary George Eustice went back on his word and chose not to hold the Yorkshire-wide summit that he promised in the aftermath of Storm Ciara, that flooding is not a Government priority and that there’s insufficient recognition of the extent to which this region has been shortchanged in the past.
After all, it’s nearly a decade since David Cameron visited flood-hit Calderdale and made the first of his “money no object” promises to stricken families and businesses.
As Prime Minister, they believed that his words could be trusted. They were, however, not water-tight, hence why the University of Leeds’s work will now play a key role in making a renewed case for fairer funding and holding Ministers to account.
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