Cookies: We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. By continuing to use the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
House of Commons Hansard
x
07 June 2018
Volume 642
The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

3. What assessment he has made of the effect of changes in the level of funding for flood defences on the effectiveness of those defences. [905705]

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The Government are investing £2.6 billion to better protect the country from flooding. This includes a programme of more than 1,500 flood defence schemes, which will better protect 300,000 homes by 2021. The programme will deliver £30 billion of economic benefit for the next 50 years and is projected to reduce overall flood risk to the economy by 5% by 2021.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The 2015 Boxing day floods devastated the Redvales and Radcliffe areas of Bury. The Environment Agency has drawn up a £37 million flood defence scheme for the area but, after raising £30 million between the EA, Greater Manchester and Bury Council, there is a £7 million shortfall. That shortfall would be covered if the bid with the Minister were successful. After being unsuccessful in the first round, we are to be considered again for funding from the £40 million pot for deprived areas. Can he update me on the progress of the bid? Successful bids to date have protected fewer than 100 homes, but ours would protect 1,200.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The hon. Gentleman has been a clear champion for his local community in raising these issues with the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk Coastal (Dr Coffey). He can be assured that his bid is being given serious consideration in relation to the £40 million floods fund for growth and regeneration and that decisions will be made by the summer.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

Mr Speaker, I am sure that you have seen the devastating pictures of flooding in Birmingham, the wider west midlands and other parts of the country, including 30 to 40 homes in my constituency. Is it not the case that it was the Conservatives who secured universal affordable flood insurance for the victims after inheriting a situation in which the Association of British Insurers had given notice to end the so-called statement of principles in 2008?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

My right hon. Friend is of course right, and our thoughts are with the families who have been affected by the floods, particularly the family of Peter Harnwell, who sadly died despite the best efforts of the emergency services when his vehicle was submerged. Thanks to the Government’s efforts, the vast majority of households at high flood risk now have access to home insurance through Flood Re, which has active plans in place to engage with all communities after flood events once the immediate emergency has subsided.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

I join the Minister in sending our sincere condolences to the family of the gentleman who sadly died in Walsall following the extreme flash flooding earlier this month. I also pay tribute to the emergency services and others who worked so hard to protect our communities during that period of extreme weather.

Further to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Bury North (James Frith), in the 2017 autumn Budget, the Government allocated £40 million to boost regeneration in communities at high risk of flooding but, six months on, not a penny has been allocated. Will the Minister tell the House what is causing that delay?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The allocation of flood defence funding is important, as the hon. Lady will appreciate, and it is being properly scrutinised. Conversations are being had and, as I said to the hon. Member for Bury North (James Frith), a decision will be made this summer.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

Will the Minister confirm that the creation of 15 hectares of new habitat remains a funded part of the Oxford flood alleviation scheme, which may affect my constituents?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

I do not know the detail of that scheme, but I will talk about it in depth with my hon. Friend afterwards to give him the assurances that he needs.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The best form of flood defence is upper catchment management, yet the £45 million provided in York is going towards downstream emergency measures. It was not incorporated in the national strategic review, so what are the Minister’s plans to start investing in upland management?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The hon. Lady makes an important point. Looking at natural ways to tackle floods, such as planting trees and wood-based flood defences further upstream, is a priority. We are taking that action further forward with a fund and a plan.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The Minister will recall that the entire Humber estuary, particularly my constituency, was badly affected by a tidal surge in December 2013. There is still concern among residents that insufficient work has been done. Will the Minister meet me and neighbouring MPs to provide an update?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

I understand the concerns raised by my hon. Friend, and I am of course more than willing to meet him to discuss them in detail.