Why Doncaster flood insurance review is so welcome – The Yorkshire Post says

THIS newspaper was the first to criticise the Government over its initial response to last November’s floods in South Yorkshire – and the devastation witnessed more recently in the Calder Valley and other parts of the county.

An aerial photo of Fishlake at the height of the floods.

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Yorkshire cannot rely on luck to avoid flooding - The Yorkshire Post says

‘Not a national emergency’ was the page one headline when Boris Johnson played down the scale of damage before making a belated visit to Doncaster to meet victims.

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As such, it is only right to acknowledge the review that Defra has now launched into the provision of flood insurance in order to better understand why so many homeowners and businesses had no cover when their life’s work was left in ruins. It will centre on the Don Valley.

Environment Secretary George Eustice during a visit to York at the height of the floods.

Given the magnitude of the unfolding coronavirus tragedy, it would not have been the greatest surprise if this inquiry had been overlooked by Environment Secretary George Eustice.

But the fact that it is still proceeding reaffirms the view that Mr Eustice has achieved far more in just over two months than his predecessor Theresa Villiers managed during her entire tenureship.

And it is also an acceptance that the Flood Re scheme, launched in 2016 to provide affordable cover in areas prone to flooding, is not working as intended. If it was “a bona fide system”, the claim made Mr Eustice’s deputy Rebecca Pow when pressed in Parliament by disgruntled Tory and Labour MPs from South Yorkshire, there would not have been stories across the county – and wider country – of families and businesses literally losing everything because they were uninsured.

Their recovery was going to be a long one before Covid-19 struck. And given the threat of flooding will exist long after the pandemic has passed, they will gain some reassurance from the fact that their plight has not been entirely forgotten – and that the Environment Secretary wants the inquiry published in September.

Boris Johnson met flooding victims in South Yorkshire last November.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

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James Mitchinson