Skip to main content

Flood Defences

Volume 679: debated on Thursday 10 September 2020

This Government are investing a record £5.2 billion to deliver around 2,000 new flood defence projects to better protect 336,000 properties in England by 2027. Up to £170 million is also being invested to accelerate work on flood defence schemes that will soon begin construction, and I am very pleased to say that, largely thanks to my hon. Friend’s great campaigning efforts from the Back Benches, Tenbury Wells will receive £4.9 million in economic recovery grant to enable the completion of the scheme she has been championing and to better protect 570 jobs, 80 businesses and 82 properties.

I thank the Minister personally and the Secretary of State for all they did to ensure that funding will deliver a scheme for Tenbury Wells. May I ask her to encourage from the Dispatch Box the Environment Agency to crack on and get a socially distanced consultation under way on its preferred design?

I thank my hon. Friend very much for that and for all the work that she has done. Now that the money is there, she is itching to get on with the project. The Environment Agency has worked proactively to develop safe ways to work during the pandemic, and I am reliably informed that it will start a public consultation on the Tenbury flood risk management scheme this autumn. It will use socially distanced and virtual engagement methods that are covid-secure to ensure that it engages as widely as possible.

People in South Yorkshire are still waiting for the Prime Minister’s flood summit, which was promised last November, four months before the covid-19 lockdown in the UK. This is the second time I have asked the Secretary of State to explain the delay. Will he apologise and commit now to a date for the long overdue summit?

I thank the shadow Minister for that question. This issue has been raised a number of times. I have had many Zoom calls with Members from the area over the lockdown, and the difficulty with having the project has been that we have been in lockdown, but we have made major flood announcements, with £5.2 billion of funding. Many of the Yorkshire areas have benefited, but of course, if there are further conversations that the shadow Minister would like to have, we would be happy to have them.