South Yorkshire Mayor calls for promised flood summit

Calls for a date to be set, for a long awaited summit on preventing major floods, are being made by the Sheffield City Region Mayor, Dan Jarvis.

He has teamed up with local leaders, including Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones, Rotherham Council Leader Chris Read and Barnsley Council Leader Sir Stephen Houghton to write to the Prime Minister, asking him to keep him promise.

Mayor Jarvis said: “It’s been nine months since Boris Johnson agreed to hold the summit after severe floods hit South Yorkshire in November 2019.

“The government’s trustworthiness is on the line here. We understand that COVID has caused a lot of disruption, but the flood risk does not get any less just because we are preoccupied with other issues.”

The letter also claims flood defence funding is inadequate.

The Government increased funding for flood prevention in the 2020 budget, allocating £16 million for South Yorkshire. Mr Jarvis claims funding should actually be in the region of £270million.

“That is completely inadequate given the scale of the threat – and it only targets areas affected by the 2007 floods, with nothing for places like Fishlake in Doncaster and Parkgate in Rotherham that were badly hit last November," Mr Jarvis said.

“We’ve drawn up a detailed £270m plan for nature-friendly flood defences in South Yorkshire, including urgent projects to protect the places hit in 2019 and which the government’s current plans leave defenceless. With climate change making the risk of another disaster on the scale of 2019 ever greater, the government should be helping us implement it as soon as possible.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs say they are committed to making the country resilient to flooding and are vowing to hold a discussion when it is appropriate to do so.

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