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Future flood protection in Leeds

Statement from Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss on a meeting held today with Leeds MPs on recent flooding.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

Today I held a very constructive meeting with Leeds MPs to discuss what more can be done to protect the city and surrounding areas.

We are fully committed to ensuring Leeds is properly protected from flooding. As we face ever more frequent extreme weather events such as those in December, which saw water levels on the River Aire 1.2m higher than previously recorded, it is right we look at what lessons can be learned and how we make Leeds more resilient for the future.

That means considering the threat to Leeds and the entire Aire Valley, taking into account how we plan for and manage flood water across the whole river catchment.

The first phase of the Leeds flood defence scheme is due for completion in March 2017 thanks to £33m of government funding. In the light of recent events, the Environment Agency will start work immediately with local partners on scoping work on further protection for the wider area which will lead to a full feasibility study.

Across the county £280m is being spent over the next six years – giving Yorkshire one of the most resilient flood defence programmes in the country.