Homes at risk from flooding



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Despite extensive action to combat the peril of flooding in Driffield and the surrounding villages, statistics released this week show that 1,468 homes remain at risk across East Yorkshire - 152 of those significantly at risk.

This compares with a whopping 11,637 homes at risk across the Beverley and Holderness region - 2,154 of those significantly.

Last year, Burton Fleming, Kilham and Kelleythorpe were all deluged by water in the wake of prolonged periods of heavy rain - and the after effects are still being discussed today.

Latest analysis of Environment Agency data was released by Friends of the Earth and showed there are 306,465 homes at flood risk in Yorkshire and the Humber as a whole - with 44525 homes judged by the Environment Agency to be at significant risk.

Nationally, more than 6,000 homes have been affected by the winter floods this year. However, the figures show there is a much larger number of properties in the UK that could face flooding in future.

Friends of the Earth believe climate change is set to make flooding more widespread and the Government’s own Climate Change Risk Assessment estimates that almost one million UK homes could be at significant flood risk by the 2020s, up from the 370,000 currently at significant risk nationwide. Yet the Government is spending £500 million less on flood defences than is required to keep pace with climate change, according to its own advisors, while cutting spending on energy efficiency and bringing uncertainty to renewable energy projects.

Friends of the Earth Yorkshire and Humber Campaigner, Simon Bowens, said: “Flooding is devastating for anyone that is affected by it and as a country we must do much more to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Without proper investment in flood defences, hundreds of thousands more homes could be put at risk of flooding.

“Prevention is better than cure, so it’s also vital that the Government redouble efforts to stop climate change becoming worse.

“We are asking the region’s MPs to support the call for flood defences in line with the risks posed by climate change, and for more investment to make homes energy efficient, switch to renewable energy and get off climate-changing and polluting fossil fuels.”

MPs’ reactions from across the region:

Hull North MP, Diana Johnson:

“It’s clear that with so much more of the country now at risk of flooding, due to the rising sea levels and the greater regularity of volatile and extreme weather caused by climate change, we cannot afford to just write off whole communities, businesses and the property markets in large population centres such as Hull if we want to see our economy growing on a sustainable basis.”

Leeds Central MP, Hilary Benn:

“We have known for some time just how at risk the centre of Leeds is from serious flooding. This would affect not just many homes but also lots of businesses which would be very damaging to the city’s economy. That’s why we campaigned so hard for the new city centre flood defence scheme on which work should begin soon. And there’s no doubt that we will need to invest more in flood defence nationally over the years ahead in response to climate change.”

Scunthorpe MP, Nic Dakin:

“The recent floods are a wake-up call on the need to do more to protect households from climate change. Flood defence spending must take into account the expected impacts of climate change, like more rainfall and higher sea levels.”

Selby & Ainsty MP, Nigel Adams:

“Protecting homes is a priority for this Government so I am pleased to see the increased budget for defences. However, flood defence plans must take into account higher levels of rainfall and higher sea levels and we need a renewed focus on dredging rivers where appropriate.”

“Additionally, communities should consider their own renewable energy project and every home should be insulated to stop it leaking heat, money and carbon emissions.”

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