(2) what recent assessment the Environment Agency has made of the present condition of flood defences for which they are responsible.
The Environment Agency is currently reviewing its business plans for 2008-09 in light of the recent Comprehensive Spending Review settlement. It will announce its proposals for the improvement of flood defences in February 2008.
The Environment Agency currently inspects assets on a risk based programme and assesses the national position on a quarterly basis.
The proportion (by length) of flood defences such as raised walls and embankments, maintained by the Environment Agency that were in good or better condition in April 2007 was 55 per cent. A further 40 per cent. were in a fair condition.
The proportion (by number) of flood defence structures, such as sluices and outfalls, maintained by the Environment Agency that were in good or better condition in April 2007 was 69 per cent. A further 26 per cent. were in a fair condition.