I HAVE lived next to Priorpot Beck in Norton for the past 35 years. During the floods of 1999 and 2000 I was able to use a rowing boat in my garden and houses on Scarborough Road and Toisland View were flooded.

Once the flood defences were constructed, the River Derwent was restrained, but we were flooded then by the cleaner water of Priorpot Beck, which could not enter the river because of the flood defences.

This problem was solved with the construction of an automatic pumping station, which pumps the beck water over the flood defence wall when the river is high.

During the past three months it has worked perfectly and Scarborough Road and Toisland View have been spared serious flooding.

This pumping station was co-funded by Ryedale District Council, the Environment Agency and Redrow Developers (as part of their flood mitigation measures for developing their housing estate on Scarborough Road).

I take my dog Toby for a walk in Old Malton every morning. Over the past three months there have been up to eight temporary pumps there pumping water over the flood defence wall every day and I understand, from talking to the operatives, this is a far more frequent situation than it was a few years ago.

It is time North Yorkshire Council used some of the funding it receives from property developers as their contribution towards improving infrastructure and invested it in a pumping station in Old Malton.

With contributions from the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water this seems a sensible solution to a silly, recurring problem that costs all three parties significant revenue expenditure when capital investment is really the answer.

I expect there will be arguments over ‘whose water is it?’ and ‘who will take over the maintenance costs?’ etc. But this was clearly resolved for the Priorpot Pumping Station so is not an insuperable issue.

All too often senior managers of government organisations and private companies linger over their budgets and fear being judged on their performance in relation to that rather than the service they deliver to their customers.

Residents across the County do not care whose water it is. All they want are sensible solutions to flooding issues and an acceptance from all the main players that the financial barriers dividing them need to be removed.

Cllr Stephen Shaw Norton