A good time to clear up river bed

First published in Letters

I AM a concerned resident of Malton, in fact, have lived in Norton and Malton all my life, but must put on record that the excessive flooding occurring in our area is very disquieting.

Being a pensioner, I use the Coastliner bus service on a regular basis, and, from a personal point of view, traversing the bridge between the bus station and my residence has been hazardous during the recent spate of adverse conditions.

At the same time, I applaud the efforts of the emergency services who acted in an exemplary manner in the extremely difficult circumstances to mitigate the effects experienced by the population.

However, one thing that does puzzle me is the lack of maintenance on the bed of the River Derwent. My father worked on the long-extinct River Board whose responsibilities included dredging the river bed to avoid sediment building up and causing water to back up. Not only sediment builds up as people sweep up and deposit the sweepings into the river. Could not such remedial maintenance action be taken now?

Naturally, I accept that the prevalent situation was perhaps out of normality, but with hindsight there may have been a case for cleaning the river bed in advance and thus avoiding most of the excessive cost.

Touching on cost, the fire and rescue service, manning the pumps used, the ensuing overtime entailed, together with machinery hire may well have balanced the expense of keeping the river bed free of encumbrance.

Maureen Stockdale, Malton

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