Harming Economy

Increased Flood Risk

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Bursting Point: Run-off water from Ilkley Moor floods the town below (Boxing Day 2015).

West Yorkshire has been subject to severe flooding, which has caused devastation to livelihoods and homes. The Boxing Day 2015 floods alone cost the region £170 million, with some businesses unable to reopen, whilst others can no longer find insurance cover due to the risk of such events recurring. Ilkley was completely cut off as roads became impassible and Wharfedale became partly submerged.

Blanket bog which has been degraded as a result of heather burning, a process used by gamekeepers to increase red grouse numbers for guns, is one contributor to flooding. Local conservationists have express that Ilkley Moor could be “vital” in mitigating future flood risk.

Failing to Raise Capital

Bradford Council granted a license which allows grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor in a bid to generate additional income. To this end the deed has failed. The tenancy has under-performed by £13,000 since being agreed in 2008. The local authority has also missed out on an estimated £225,000 in capital grants since 2010, which have instead been paid to the grouse shoot’s land manager. In other words, Bradford Council has lost, not gained, money through its arrangements.