British Govt accused of leaving north England to flood

THE British Government has been accused of leaving swathes of Northern England at risk of flooding.

With the damage bill from the floods of recent days being put at upwards of $10 billion, it emerged yesterday a senior official warned only two months ago budget cuts would lead to the scrapping of flood defences in Yorkshire.

In York, Prime Minister David Cameron denied the devastation had come about because of a "north-south" divide, with flood protection concentrated in the Conservatives' southern heartland.

He insisted the amount spent on flood defences in the north was greater than in the south and promised there would be improved flood protection for Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The Labour Party, in turn, reproduced a two-month-old warning from Professor Colin Mellors, the man the Government appointed earlier this year to take charge of Yorkshire's flood defences.

He told a meeting in October that because of "ever-tighter budgets", the Yorkshire flood committee would probably "be asked in the new year to consider sites where maintenance might be formally discontinued".

In Leeds - where 2000 homes were damaged - council leader Judith Blake said a flood prevention scheme for the city was scrapped by the Government in 2011.