YP Letters: Flooding victims accuse Ministers of betrayal

From: John Reeve, Kiln Field, Staxton.

Sandbags were used to plug the holes in the flood defences.
Sandbags were used to plug the holes in the flood defences.

NOW is the time for the Prime Minister and his Government to stand up and take responsibility for the flooding that is occurring in Yorkshire.

Exceptional weather conditions are not the reason as we have had exceptional weather of all kinds over the last 65 years that I know of from experience.

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The real reason for this flooding is lack of responsibility by the Government for maintenance of moors, streams and major rivers by the Environment Agency.

It is time that the Government took responsibility for the safety of its population and used the £16bn overseas aid budget to look after its own people and organise a complete programme of ditching, dikeing and dredging our waterways all the way down to the North Sea, to prevent further flooding and heartbreak of its flooded population.

It is now the time to take action, we have waited long enough.

From: Martin J. Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Cookridge, Leeds.

I’VE been telling successive governments for the past 20 years or more that the principle of employing flood defences along the banks of rivers is flawed. York has provided a good example of this: the flood barriers on the Foss were causing extra (flood) water to flow into the Ouse thus causing that to overflow its flood barriers.

In the end the powers-that-be lifted the Foss flood barriers to allow the Foss to flood in order to take pressure off the Ouse flood barriers. I suspect the flooding in Leeds was similarly made worse by flood defences further up the river around places like Keighley. If flood defences are increased in Leeds then more water will then hit the next weak spot on the river e.g. Castleford. All flood barriers do is divert the problem elsewhere.

After the recent devastation, the Government might finally start to think instead about using a series of dams/reservoirs in the upper reaches of rivers to control the flow of water into rivers thus keeping rivers at a stable level. This is basic O-Level Geography!

I have also written to succesive governements about taking the National Lottery ‘in house’ so that instead of the profits going to greedy shareholders, the money can be retained in reserve to pay for disasters like the recent flooding or to help out with (winter) crises in the NHS and Social Care. Sadly, governments prefer to let their rich friends have the money.

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

WE have just seen terrible chaos and misery in Cumbria, Lancashire and in some parts of North Yorkshire the scene was the same, all due to flooding because there were not enough flood defences to protect our people. Yet, in the wealthy Serbian town of Lazarevac, flood defences paid for by British taxpayers kept the residents safe (GP Taylor, The Yorkshire Post, December 23).

Bojan Stevic, the happy and dry deputy mayor of Lazarevac, said: “We’re grateful to Great Britain and to the British people, yet it does seem strange they spent so much money in our country on flood defences but apparently were not investing enough in their own. It’s terrible to see the people of Britain suffering.”

Are all our politicians, of all parties, totally as thick as planks? We continue giving more aid oversees while abandoning our own people. The Tories are obsessed with giving more and more in foreign aid which has now reached at least £12bn per annum. That would be enough to repair the police, defence, hospitals and the benefit system.

It would also be enough to ensure that no one in the UK would ever get flooded out of their homes ever again.

From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme.

THE floods are not solely an Act of God; the Lake District is quite accustomed to very heavy rain. Much more responsible is the EU Water Framework Directive of 2000, which places severe restrictions on the dredging of rivers. In its comments on the repeated flooding, the Environment Agency makes no reference to this legislation. I wonder why not?

From: Lyn Williamson, Humber Road, North Ferriby.

HAVING read GP Taylor’s column on switching foreign aid money to help UK flooding victims (The Yorkshire Post, December 23), he has put everything I feel into words and expresses very much the thoughts and feelings, I’m sure, of the majority.

From: Barry Crossland, Elland Lane, Elland.

IMMEDIATE action is required as current trends are for more frequent heavy rainfall. Rather than spend loads of money on shopping in Halifax, the building of water collection facilities in the Upper Calderdale valleys needs doing. I think people’s homes are more important.

From: Martin Fletcher, Flanders Court, Thorpe Hesley, South Yorkshire.

SMARMY platitudes of garbage will not stem the water. Both Environment Secretary Liz Truss and the Eton mess that supposedly have experts to do flood defences have let this country down badly. Stop giving money away and spend it here. I was a Conservative voter up until 2010. Never ever again.

From: Paul Brown, Bents Green Road, Sheffield.

IT is about time some attention was paid to the possibility of dredging our rivers and estuaries to allow rain water to flow away more easily. Just across the channel in Boulogne I recall the dredger La Liane cleaning out the harbour. Since my visit, this vessel has been replaced by a more modern but less picturesque ship.