Yesterday, we had a Productive meeting with the flooding Minister Therese Coffey.
Given the change in government and the recent referendum a delegation of Leeds MPs plus Tom Riordan and Cllr Judith Blake met the Minister to ensure that providing sufficient flood defences for Leeds are still a government priority. The Minister gave us that assurance and promised to put in writing a commitment from government to fund the flood defences needed to protect Leeds homes and businesses. Following on from a scoping exercise earlier this year a full business case is being put together and will be ready next Autumn then enabling work to progress on a new flood defence scheme upstream from the city centre to provide protection including in Kirkstall.
The government also recognises serious problems for small businesses needing flood insurance. The insurance industry will be launching some new products this Autumn following pressure from businesses and MPs and the government are happy to talk again about outstanding issues after that.
Finally, the government, LCC and the Environment Agency will now look at whether something can be done to make it easier for small businesses to access support and advice in making their properties more flood resilient and will look at piloting a scheme of tailored support in Leeds, and particularly in Kirkstall which would be very beneficial.