Flood fight

YORKSHIRE will never get a guarantee that there will be no repeat of the floods which devastated the region, and many other parts of Britain, in 2007. So it needs the next best thing, which is funding for the defences which would lengthen the odds on another such disaster.

Robert Runcie, the Environment Agency's director of flood and coastal risk management, said the investment in flood defences will need to almost doubled to 1bn a year by 2035 to keep pace with climate change. Set against the backdrop of Britain's poor finances, this is a lot of money, but compared to the events of three years ago, which cost 13 lives, an estimated 3.2bn and visited an immeasurable toll of personal tragedies, it is a less daunting figure.

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The simple truth is that there can be no penny spared in the fight against flooding. The damage wreaked upon West Cumbria, only in November, tells a torrid tale of what water can do.

Ministers must take the question of flood defences outside the to-and-fro of everyday politics and give it the money it deserves. Anything less, and we will all pay the price for generations to come.