Anger over lack of action against flooding in Ryedale

Gazette & Herald: . .

PEOPLE working to stop flooding in Ryedale said more needs to be done to tackle the root causes of problems in the area following a meeting to discuss future progress.

Hosted by Ryedale MP Anne McIntosh, key agencies including Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and North Yorkshire County Council were invited to review the follow-up to last year’s the floods.

However, although welcoming the opportunity to discuss the issue, representatives from the town and parish councils said little progress had been made.

Councillor Di Keal, deputy mayor of Norton, said: “The outcome of the meeting was deeply disappointing as – with the exception of the Environment Agency which has carried out some work to ensure the flood protection measures work correctly – others appear to have largely abandoned Norton.

‘The county council has taken over a year to produce a report which still hasn’t been shared with the community and says it has no money to do any work on flood alleviation. Yorkshire Water is planning to ‘map’ the sewers, but appears unlikely to do anything to actually improve the system despite the fact that it is over capacity, which is why properties were surrounded by raw sewage last year. As more housing is built in Norton the problem can only get worse.

“Even the ‘quick wins’ that were discussed, such as installing hollow sleepers and a gulley under Church Street to house temporary pipework to make the pumping process more efficient should the town face another similar event, seem to be ‘delayed’.”

“Apparently we have to wait until November 2014 until Network Rail is doing other engineering work in the area,” she added.

Coun Keal said: “The laid back attitude that is being displayed is just not good enough – and neither is it acceptable in the 21st century to expect residents in Norton to face wading through the raw sewage that surrounded their homes again,” she added. “It is inevitable that this will happen if nothing is done to prevent it. Thank you to Anne McIntosh for calling last week’s meeting, but please now support local residents and demand some action.”

Simon Thackray, a leading flood campaigner from Brawby, said he was under-whelmed by the outcome of the meeting.

“We were delivered a pre-written script and told what we already know, that the multi-agency partnership is intent on dealing with the flooding, pollution and public nuisance,” he said.

“I think there will be spectacular fireworks next year when the people of Ryedale finally wake up to what is happening.”

Ms McIntosh said that like the NHS there would never be enough money to address all the issues.

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