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Floods: Council Tax

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what requests the Environment Agency has made to local authorities to increase the council tax precept to pay for increased flood defences in the 2008-09 financial year. (176538)

Grant in aid from DEFRA funds the majority of the Environment Agency’s flood risk management activities (£436 million in 2007-08). The Agency may raise additional sums through levies on local authorities. These are set by Regional Flood Defence Committees (RFDCs) on which local authorities have a majority. Around £25 million is raised in levies nationally each year and they are used to fund locally important projects which do not have sufficient priority to be funded via DEFRA grant in aid. These levies are supported by the local government funding mechanisms operated by Communities and Local Government.

Levies are set by RFDCs in January each year and, while decisions have yet to be taken on their levels for 2008-09, the Environment Agency anticipates that the increase in local levies nationally for 2008-09 may be around 2.5 per cent., raising an additional £0.6 million.