The regret is that it took nearly six years, following the catastrophic Boxing Day floods of December 2015, to reach a point when residents living in the vicinity of the River Calder can begin to sleep more easily at night.
Flooding in Calderdale has, after all, become so frequent that, in the ultimate irony, partially completed flood defences were swept away in February last year by the full force of Storm Ciara.
But the presence in West Yorkshire of Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd for today’s formalities by the river doesn’t lessen this newspaper’s longstanding concerns.
Quite the opposite. The Yorkshire Post is even more convinced that more needs to be done to consider river catchment areas in their entirety when assessing flood risks and deciding how best to protect vulnerable communities.
And, now Boris Johnson has decided to keep George Eustice in place, there’s no reason for the Environment Secretary not to convene the Yorkshire-wide summit that he promised in February 2020 when he visited flood-hit York and when the military had to be drafted in to shore up Calderdale’s defences.
This is a county-wide problem in which a more agile regional response needs to be part of a renewed national push to minimise the impact of flooding in order to protect homes, livelihoods and the UK economy.
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