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Flood Control

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which recommendations of the Pitt Review (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency have implemented. (245972)

The Government have made significant progress in implementing the recommendations of Sir Michael Pitt's review of the summer 2007 floods. The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs made a statement to the House of Commons and published the Government's response to the review on 17 December 2008. It sets out what has already been done and a clear action plan for the remaining steps to deliver against the challenging agenda identified by Sir Michael. The Government's response can be viewed at:

www.defra.gov.uk/environ/fcd/floods07/Govtresptopitt.pdf.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on developing a single set of guidance for local authorities and the public on the use and usefulness of sandbags and other alternative means of flood water management; and when such guidance will be published. (246111)

As part of the response to Sir Michael Pitt’s report on the summer 2007 floods, the Government announced that the Environment Agency’s guidance on the use of sandbags will be updated by the Agency and made available to the Government, the public and local authorities by February 2009. The Environment Agency is developing additional guidance on self-help home protection measures for householders, businesses and building contractors who may fit them. This guidance will be developed by summer 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Environment Agency with (a) insurance companies and (b) the water industry on sharing information to facilitate the management of flood risk. (246119)

The Government agreed a new Statement of Principles with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in summer 2008. The agreement requires the Environment Agency to provide information to insurance companies through the ABI. The Environment Agency assures me that it is making good progress to meet its obligations under the statement.

The Environment Agency has been working with water utilities and Water UK on a national protocol for sharing flood data.