MPs bemoan 'cursory' Govt response on flooding issues


MPs have criticised the Government for its ‘cursory’ response to their report on improving flood protection, accusing ministers of missing opportunities to protect at risk communities.

The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee said it was disappointed with environment department Defra’s response to its November 2016 report on future flood prevention, which had called for action to tackle ‘fragmented, inefficient and ineffective flood management’.


The Committee complained that the Government had not committed to taking forward key recommendations, which included a Floods Commissioner for England, new regional flood and coastal boards and a new English rivers and coastal authority.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, acting chair of the committee, said: ‘People living in areas of flood risk need to be reassured that the Government is acting to improve our disjointed flood management system. Defra has failed to give sufficient justification for its rejection of our recommendations for important new measures to improve flood protection.

'Ministers must give us more detailed information on how the Government is using its £2.5bn flood defence budget' he said, adding it must 'also update us on their actions to ensure that the insurance, planning and building regulation regimes reduce flood risk and improve property resilience’.

Cllr Martin Tett, Local Government Association environment spokesman, said that in 2015/16, where the Environment Agency was consulted, 99.7% of new homes had planning outcomes in line with its advice.

Cllr Tett said the key to protecting communities was for government to devolve funding to councils.

He said: ‘Councils make considerable contributions to flood defences yet they have little control over where the money is spent.’

MPs also demanded that Defra give clearer information on how much of its £2.5bn flood risk management programme includes natural flood management approaches, beyond a specific £15m announced after the Autumn statement.

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