I am pleased to say that the Environment Agency is developing a flood alleviation scheme for the Leeman Road-Water End area of York. The scheme will cost approximately £6.5 million and protect 550 properties.
It is nine years since the worst flood on record in York. I remember clearly that night when hundreds of local citizens and soldiers built a mile-long wall of sandbags on top of the flood defences to protect 550 homes on Leeman road. We are still waiting for the flood defences to be improved. When will the Environment Agency consult the public on its plans, and when do we expect the improvements to be built?
My hon. Friend raises an important point, and I am pleased to confirm that the consultation will begin in early 2010 to help to select the best solution. Subject to funding, construction should begin in early 2012. It is important to get the flood defences in place as soon as possible, subject to consultation.