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Flood Defences

Volume 597: debated on Thursday 18 June 2015

Flood defences are an absolute priority for this Government. We are spending £2.3 billion on more than 1,500 schemes over the next six years, which will help us reduce flood risk to our country by 5%.

I thank the Secretary of State for her response, but the reality is that in the last Parliament the Government promised £3.1 million of investment to reduce flood risk in my constituency, but figures published by the Environment Agency show that only £1 million of funding has been granted. Can the Secretary of State confirm which schemes will not go ahead and why the Government are failing to deliver on their commitment to manage flood risk?

Seven schemes in the hon. Lady’s constituency have now been identified within the six-year programme between now and 2020-21, with a total investment value of £4.3 million. We are also raising money from partnership funding and the private sector, which enables us to protect more homes and more communities.

In 2007, the community of Thatcham suffered the surface water flooding of more than 1,100 homes. Since then a huge community effort, working with the Environment Agency and unlocking a lot of local funding as part of the partnership funding scheme, has seen a lot of measures reintroduced. The last piece of that work needs preliminary design funding for this year. Will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the new Under-Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Rory Stewart), whom I welcome to the best job in Government, look closely at this case, so that Thatcham is protected for the future?

I am sure that we will look very closely at the case that my hon. Friend has made. We are enabling local communities to bundle up projects so that we can have more small-scale projects, and we have put through our plans on sustainable urban drainage better to protect housing from flooding.