“I Wish You’d Hurry Up With This Cash You Promised, Mr. Osbourne?”
Illustration by Steve Spencer
The Chancellor, George Osborne announced in his spring budget, that he is to allocate £150m to help build flood defences in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
How this amount is to be divided between the areas worst affected by the Boxing Day floods is already cause for concern. An earlier scheme for Leeds and the River Aire proposed in 2011 was expected to come in at £180m. Under Mr Osborne’s plans, Leeds is to be given £35m towards the overall cost of £65m as part of the city’s Flood Alleviation Scheme, which is way below the amount needed to secure the city against future flooding.
The leader of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake, has expressed her concern over the amount set aside for Leeds as there is no timescale in place for when the money will come through and it is feared the cash may take years to trickle through. This lack of certainty as already seen businesses, devastated by the floods, having to shut down with the loss of many jobs.