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Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration has been given to bringing the responsibility for drainage matters in a particular area under one statutory authority. (172065)

We are aiming to improve management of flood risk nationally and to clarify responsibilities by giving the Environment Agency a strategic overview of all forms of flooding in a close partnership with local authorities and the water companies in long term planning and strategic risk management.

The Government is currently examining approaches to the management of surface water drainage. As part of the upcoming Government Water Strategy, Future Water, due to be published early in 2008, we will review the institutional arrangements for those bodies responsible for surface water. This work will take on board recommendations from Sir Michael Pitt’s interim report, due shortly, and the 15 pilot projects we are funding to identify improvements to the management of urban drainage.