The Council’s Communities & Environment Policy & Scrutiny Committee is meeting on 20 Jan 2016 and will be receiving an update report on the recent floods.
Cllr Lars Kramm, the Green Party Councillor on the Council’s Communities & Environment Policy & Scrutiny Committee says:
“I spoke with the Chair of the Committee, Cllr Julie Gunnell, and we both agreed we need to have an update report on the recent severe floods in York. I am glad we will now receive this report, and Cllr Waller, the Executive Member for the Environment will also be in attendance at the meeting. He will take forward feedback to the Full Regional Flood and Coastal Committee meeting he is due to attend the following day.”
In preparation for the meeting, Cllr Kramm has forwarded the following questions he would like addressed in the resulting report.
If you have further questions you feel Cllr Kramm should submit, please email him direct to firstname.lastname@example.org
We learnt from the EA statement in The Press the pumps at the pumping station were overwhelmed with a larger volume of water than they were designed to discharge. When was the last time a flood risk assessment was undertaken to assess if the capacity was great enough to cope with the larger flood events predicted in the north of England by climate change science?
If there has been an assessment undertaken recently, what were the conclusions/recommendations, and what underlying assumptions informed this?
The pump house is supposed to be watertight, however, the barrier and station was built in 1987, almost 30 years ago! Has there ever been tests undertaken of the seal efficacy since construction, and if not, why not?
During the last Parliament, the government implemented cuts of £11million to the EAs flood mitigation budgets. Where did these cuts fall in York? Was there a reduction of the maintenance budget for the Foss barrier? What risk assessments in York were undertaken to justify these cuts on a cost/benefit basis?
Would current flood defences in some parts of York been overwhelmed if the Foss barrier had not been lifted and eased the flooding situation at the banks of the Ouse?
Have areas of York been flooded due to failure in the drainage system behind the flood defences?
Which flood defences did not provide the expected protection due to leakage?
The construction of flood defence in parts of Clementhorpe was given up years ago. Are there any plans to protect the houses in this part of town?
Which future construction sites where planning permission has already been granted were affected by the recent flooding? Are there any consequences for these developments?
Why did the BT exchange fail? How can we prevent widespread and prolonged interruption to telephone and broadband communications in the future?
Why was the mobile phone connection in the city centre affected and how can this be prevented in the future?
What is the back-up plan for the warning of residents and the coordination of response when the modern telecommunication channels fail in time of crisis?
When were the bridges in York last checked regarding their resilience to flooding, and from which flooding level are they in danger of structural damage?
Which Parish Councils (PC) and resident associations (RA) have neighbourhood resilience plans, and what is City of York Council doing with areas not covered by RAs and PCs.
What will be the consequences to flooding response in York in case of similar or worse flooding when the recent cuts to the fire and rescue services has been implemented?
We are also keen to receive an update on the flooding situation at Germany Beck and its consequences for the planning and construction of the 650 homes Persimmon are proposing to build, as we recognise this is an issue of public concern. Representatives of Persimmon have been invited to the meeting and attendance is confirmed.