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Water Charges

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has (a) been budgeted for expenditure on and (b) has been spent to date on the surface water management plan announced on 17 December 2008. (257663)

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: At present, £300,000 is allocated towards the production of surface water management plans (SWMP) split over the six local authorities which are trialling the new SWMP guidance document. To date, no expenditure has been made but invoices are expected from the six authorities in the next few weeks. The anticipated expenditure up to end of March 2009 will be £190,000 with the remaining £110,000 spent by end of July 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department has made available to each local authority for the development of a surface water management plan; and whether the allocation of this funding takes account of the geographical size of each local authority. (258039)

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: DEFRA announced initial funding of £300,000 in December 2008 for an initial programme of six locations where guidance for Surface Water Management Plans will be trialled. The money was divided equally between the successful bids. The findings from the trials are required quickly to inform final guidance which we are planning to consult on later in 2009 and then make available to all local authorities. Work on this first phase is not expected to deliver complete coverage within all the locations selected due to the variation in size and complexity.