New infrastructure is now in place to improve the speed, safety and efficiency of the response to the threat of flooding in Malton, Norton and Old Malton.
The work is part of a joint flood alleviation scheme by ourselves and Ryedale District Council, with funding also coming from the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Environment Agency.
The new infrastructure includes permanent brackets, pipework and hard standing at various locations, including County Bridge, Tate Smith Yard and Old Malton.
As pumps operate in residential areas, they can become disruptive to residents. To lessen disruption, the County Council and District Council have recently added to their pump fleet with two new quieter pumps. As pumps are replaced in future, the quiet canopy feature will be included.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “These improvements make a significant difference. They enable quicker, more efficient deployment of pumps and improve safety for the crews operating the pumps. This work is about making the pumping operation more practical, safer and more efficient.”
A Ryedale District Council spokesperson said: “The infrastructure improvements will support the effectiveness of the Malton, Norton and Old Malton pump plan.
“We continue to liaise with partners about other action that might be needed.”
Cllr Lindsay Burr, county councillor for Malton, said: “I am pleased to have worked collaboratively with all these organisations to ensure that our residents benefit from the flood alleviation scheme.”
Norton division county councillor Cllr Keane Duncan said: “The pumping operation earlier this year was a vital element of our flood response. It successfully protected our towns from the worst effects, but it also exposed a number of weaknesses. I am pleased that the additional pumping infrastructure is now in place to ensure that we are even better prepared to respond if and when pumps are needed again.
“This scheme once again shows just how much a partnership approach can achieve, and paves the way for further potential steps in future. Meaningful action can only be achieved by all agencies working together.”
Another part of the flood alleviation scheme is property level resilience to help the owners of up to 150 properties regarded as high-risk in Malton, Norton and Old Malton to protect their homes and businesses further. Households are entitled to up to £5,000 for approved alterations, such as flood door barriers, airbricks that close automatically to keep out water, non-return valves on drains to prevent floodwater or sewage backing up and waterproof copings on walls.
Cllr Mackenzie added: “Each solution is tailored to what individual home and business owners want for their property. The contractors are in place and are working with homeowners to get the best arrangements for their properties.”
York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership allocated £500,000 from the Government’s Local Growth Fund towards the scheme.
David Dickson, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure & Joint Assets Board, said: “This scheme will do a great deal to reduce the risk and impact of flooding. From an economic angle, flood resilience is vital for businesses in this region so we’re delighted to see the scheme reach this latest milestone.”