Defra ‘Environment Secretary George Eustice and Environment Minister Rebecca Pow have reaffirmed the government’s commitment to do everything it can to protect communities in Yorkshire through this winter and beyond, working with MPs and local authorities. The meeting, attended by ministers, officials, the Environment Agency (EA), MPs, and representatives from local councils in South Yorkshire, allowed for reflection on the flooding which hit the area in November 2019, and for discussion on ways to better protect communities in the future.
Speaking following the meeting, Environment Secretary George Eustice said: I would like to thank everyone for their positive and productive contributions to today’s meeting. In particular, I want to thank Dan Jarvis (Labour MP) for his work on behalf of those affected by last winter’s flooding through what has been a difficult last six months for everyone, especially for those still not back in their homes.
Since 2015, we’ve invested more in flood defences in Yorkshire than any other region – £496 million in total, better protecting more than 66,000 properties. Despite the pandemic, recovery from last year’s floods has also been continuing at pace.
Looking ahead, we recently confirmed a record level of investment in flood and coastal defences to £5.2 billion up to 2027. The Environment Agency will decide where this money is allocated depending on where it will protect the most properties, and I know that Dan Jarvis’ ambitious plan for the South Yorkshire region will be considered as part of that.
Through all of this, the involvement of communities, and the local MPs and local authorities who know them best is key, which is why both Defra and the Environment Agency will continue to work closely with all those attending today’s meeting – and others – to do all we can to protect communities in Yorkshire through this winter and beyond.’