Ministers failing on flood risk, MPs say

 

The Government’s ‘reactive’ approach to flood defences is failing to protect communities at risk of flooding, MPs have said.

A new report from the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee has found a lack of effective long-term strategic planning about how to manage flood risk and that ‘despite efforts to improve, the Government appears to be reactive rather than proactive’.

”Local
Ministers  must 'maintain defences, as well as building new ones'

Committee chair Mary Creagh said: ‘We know that flooding is projected to get worse and occur more frequently because of climate change, so it just isn’t good enough for Government to react to flooding events as they occur. Communities at risk deserve certainty from Government.’

In their report, MPs noted the Government’s commitment to spend £2.3bn on flood defences but said they were ‘surprised to hear that the additional £700m of funding, announced in this year’s Budget, was based on a “political calculation” and may not be allocated using the same methods as the £2.3bn'.

MPs said this ‘could lead to inefficiencies in flood investment, poor decision making and potentially geographically unfair outcomes’.

The Committee also found that the condition of critical flood defences was in decline. MPs pointed out that the independent Worsfold review highlighted that cuts in maintenance spending saw a fall in the number of defences meeting the Environment Agency's required condition.

Ms Creagh said: ‘The Government needs to put money into the upkeep of existing flood defences as well as investing in new defences. Failure to do so can have terrible consequences for residents and businesses when defences fail.’

MPs said they were ‘concerned’ that the Government only released the Worsfold review when they requested it and that its approach to the publication and tracking of reviews demonstrated ‘a lack of transparency ‘.

They also expressed concern ‘that the Government does not know how prepared local authorities are for mitigating future flood events or whether their flood plans (if they have them) are fit for purpose’.

A spokesperson for environment department Defra said its six-year capital investment programme for flood defences would bring an end to year-on-year fluctuations in spending.

Its National Flood Resilience Review will be published shortly, followed by its 25-year environment plan later this year, 'setting out a new approach to managing our rivers across whole catchments, keeping homes, businesses and infrastructure safer from flooding'.

Jon Robinson, AECOM’s director – Waters, said the Government’s six-year investment programme should help address the stop-start approach to funding.

He added: ‘But it is important the programme is not back-end loaded with the bulk of construction occurring in years five and six. Design, maintenance and construction must be a continuous process in order to achieve the required outcomes.’

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Technician

Derbyshire County Council
£22,628 - £24,455 per annum
Two posts have become available in the Council's Highways Development Control Section Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Head of Network Planning

Derbyshire County Council
£52,999 - £58,310 per annum
This is a key role at Derbyshire County Council that will lead the strategic and operational planning and management of... Matlock, Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Senior Parking Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
As Senior Parking Manager, you will be responsible for the effective management of the Council’s Parking Services contract, and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Group Engineer (Highway Design)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£39,782 to £43,757 plus £3,000 Market Rate Supplement
Are you an experienced engineer looking for an opportunity to improve the lives of the local people of... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Group Engineer (Highways Network and Asset Management)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£39,782 to £43,757
Looking for a Group Engineer who already has... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Validation Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£21,188 - £29,796
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Transport & Infrastructure Planning Officer

Essex County Council
£52000 - £57570.0 per annum
Please note this is a two year fixed term contract with a potential for extension, subject to budget and workload. Job purpose Calling all transport P England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Food Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 to £42,490
Seeking a highly motivated and experienced Environmental Health Officer to join our busy Food Safety team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£25,327 - £36,486 depending on skills and experience
We have an exciting opportunity within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for 2 x Policy Planner roles... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highways Inspector

Cambridgeshire County Council
£19,554 - £23,836
Looking for candidates who have experience of highways maintenance and have a sound technical understanding of highways. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Street Services Recruitment Day

Royal Borough of Greenwich
Competitive Salary
This role involves collecting residents and business wheelie bins and waste containers you will work as... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Assistant Tree Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£25,880 - £27,904
Looking for an assistant tree officer to join a busy Tree Section working with the most up to date arboriculture equipment’s and IT resources.  Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Traffic Officer

Bedford Borough Council
£23,313 - £26,999 per annum
You will work as part of the Highways team providing specialist knowledge and advice on traffic management issues. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Design Engineer - Guildford

Surrey County Council
£39,438 - £43,744 per annum
An opportunity has arisen within Surrey County Council's Highway Design & Delivery Team... Guildford, Surrey
Recuriter: Surrey County Council

Director of External Operations

Somerset West and Taunton Council
£100,000
Somerset West and Taunton Council has been through a transformation that puts customers at the heart of everything we do. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset West and Taunton Council

Zero Emissions Network Officer

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£33,759 - £34,986
We are looking for an enthusiastic Zero Emissions Network Officer Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Contract Supervisor

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,013 - £36,486 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
The role of Contract Supervisor (Waste and Street Cleansing) will require you to support ambitious plans to provide services for residents Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Flood Risk Manager

Birmingham City Council
£43,662 - £54,574
The role requires the post holder to be the lead professional for the Authority’s Flood Risk Management and drainage function Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council