A FAILURE by Bradford Council to create a flood strategy could see the district lose out on cash for much-needed defences, opposition Tories have claimed.

They have called on deputy council leader Councillor Val Slater to resign over the matter, saying she had "overseen a situation which is a recipe for future disasters".

Around 15 areas of the district have been identified as places which need investment to stop a repeat of the devastation seen when the floods hit at Christmas.

But the Telegraph & Argus understands that the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, which allocates Government flood relief funding across the region, has written to council bosses expressing its concern that Bradford does not have a key strategy in place.

Legislation introduced in 2010 requires local authorities to create and publish a flood risk management strategy by the end of this month.

The opposition Conservatives have claimed the Labour-led council is lagging behind other West Yorkshire authorities and is set to miss this deadline.

Conservative group leader, Councillor Simon Cooke, said the delay was "potentially placing possible government funding to alleviate or minimise flooding at risk".

Cllr Cooke said Bradford should be "fighting to secure extra funding to prevent repeat disasters, not meandering along at the back of the pack".

He said: "It can only be hoped that Bradford Council’s casual approach doesn’t give the Government the impression that the matter isn’t serious and important to local people, causing other areas to receive priority funding."

He called on Cllr Slater, who oversees flood prevention, to step aside and "hand over responsibility for protecting us all from flooding to someone who is able to do so".

But Cllr Slater said she had only been alerted to the deadline a few weeks ago, and had been "driving it as much as I can" since then.

She said a draft flood strategy would be published, for a public consultation, before the end of the month.

And Cllr Slater said she disagreed that the delay would jeopardise any funding, saying it was the type of "European bureaucracy" that usually Cllr Cooke was no fan of.

She said: "Producing these strategies is an officer function, it isn't something that I was required to do, and because of council cuts we have fewer staff now available to be doing these tasks that are imposed on us.

"What we have been doing is concentrating on the issue of flooding, rather than chasing a piece of paper."

The Government announced extra flood prevention funding of £65 million for Leeds and £35m for the Calder Valley in this week's Budget, in response to the Christmas floods.