To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effects of the comprehensive spending review on his Department's budget for flood resilience measures; and if he will make a statement.
[Official Report, 3 December 2010, Vol. 519, c. 1057W.]
Letter of correction from Mr Robert Neill:
An error has been identified in the written answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Miss McIntosh) on 3 December 2010.
The Notice of Question received by my Department referred to “food resilience measures” but this was later changed by the Table Office to “flood resilience measures”. Due to an administrative error, the notification of change to the text of the question was not correctly dealt with by my officials resulting in an answer being given on the basis of the original text, i.e. “food resilience measures”. I apologise for any inconvenience caused by this mistake.
The full answer given was as follows: (26627)
The Department for Communities and Local Government does not hold a budget for food resilience measures because this is a policy responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. DCLG has made no assessment of the effects of the comprehensive spending review on food resilience measures.
The correct answer should have been:
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) does not hold a budget for flood resilience measures because this is a policy responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). DCLG has made no assessment of the effects of the comprehensive spending review on flood resilience. However my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has informed me that DEFRA expects to spend at least £2.1 billion on flooding and coastal erosion over the next four years. The Department expects the final figure to be an average of £540 million per year, approximately 8% less than spend by DEFRA over the previous four years. As a result of this investment, DEFRA expects to deliver better protection to 145,000 households by March 2015.