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Flood Defences

Volume 554: debated on Thursday 6 December 2012

5. What assessment he has made of the effect of partnership funding on the provision of flood defences. (131730)

Partnership funding is enabling more flood and coastal schemes to go ahead and giving local people more choice in how their community is protected. The approach has brought forward £72 million of external funding so far. This is likely to increase further, compared with the £13 million during the previous period. Early indications suggest that up to a third more schemes will go ahead in the coming years than if the previous funding system had remained.

Has the Department been liaising with insurance companies to help individuals affected by the most recent floods, such as the businesses that were affected in Northwich?

I enjoyed my visit to Northwich and pay tribute to all who have worked so hard to put the town straight after a difficult time in the floods. We are working with a range of agencies, including the insurance industry, to ensure that floods cause as little disruption to people’s lives as possible.

In a press statement issued earlier this year outlining the £120 million of additional funding that would be made available for flood defence work, the Secretary of State mentioned Derby. Some 2,000 households in Chester Green and Darley Abbey are at risk of flooding. The city council has an excellent scheme of flood defence works. Can he outline the percentage that would be expected from the city council to get those works under way?

We are working on the details of the extra money as we speak, but the hon. Gentleman might be pleased to note that Derby was mentioned in the letter that Lord Smith wrote to me on 26 September. I would strongly urge the hon. Gentleman to get involved in the negotiations and push for his town.