Kirkstall Road: Flood-hit businesses ‘need extra help’ with insurance

21 September 2018

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More work can be done to help businesses in flood-hit areas such as Kirkstall and Burley that have been unable to make insurance claims, a meeting has heard.

Besnik Imeri, 38, lost £40,000 worth of stock from his Cash Planet store in Kirkstall Road following the Boxing Day floods in 2015 which left the area under several feet of water when the River Aire broke its banks.

He said: “We don’t have insurance – we can’t be insured as soon as you tell a company you are from this area. And all the time you have that fear it will happen again.”

A meeting this week of the Leeds city region enterprise partnership (LEP) heard that problems facing homes and businesses in areas at risk of further flooding were exacerbated by the unwillingness of insurers to cover them.

Chief executive of Leeds City Council Tom Riordan told the meeting that areas in Leeds that faced bad flooding needed extra help. He said:

“There is an ongoing case for places with flooding problems and it would be something the LEP can get behind.

“There is a gap in the insurance system that businesses fall out of.”

York councillor Andrew Waller agreed. he said:

“There is an ongoing issue of insurance. We need ongoing protection.

“Surface water drainage issues are also creating problems with dramatic downpours from time to time.”

Earlier this week, Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves urged ministers to ‘stop dithering’ over urgently needed flood defences in the area.


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