To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that his Department will reimburse fully, no later than the following financial year, all levies paid by county councils in Wales to the National Rivers Authority for flood defence work; and if he will publish a definition of the pass-through arrangement which is applicable in such circumstances.
In Wales, levies from the National Rivers Authority are taken into account in calculating standard spending assessments for Welsh county councils. These assessments are based upon the use of formulae agreed with the Welsh local authority associations. Central Government support for local authority revenue expenditure (which includes meeting National Rivers Authority levies) is distributed on the basis of those assessments and is unhypothecated. Arrangements in England are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.