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Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measure they propose in the light of the Environment Agency’s recent report, Flooding in England. [HL4542]

The Government welcome the Environment Agency’s Flooding in England report, which sets out the challenges we face in managing risk from flooding.

We have taken immediate action to help communities at risk of flooding:

funding has been increased from £600 million in 2007-08 to a forecast of £780 million for 2010-11, with an additional £20 million brought forward into this year’s budgets to allow an early start to projects that will benefit 27,000 homes when complete;

85 flood defence schemes have been completed, protecting nearly 58,000 additional homes in England. Operating authorities are currently on course to exceed delivery targets and provide better protection to 160,000 homes over the three years since March 2008 to March 2011;

an additional 136,000 people have signed up to receive flood warnings in England and Wales;

a £7.7 million flood forecasting centre, jointly run by the Environment Agency and the Met Office, has been set up. The centre is already providing important services to local authorities and emergency responders, helping them to be better prepared for potential flooding;

a £5 million grant scheme for householders for property-level flood protection (such as air bricks and door boards) has been announced. The results of the first round of the scheme which will provide greater flood protection to nearly 600 households in England were announced on 25 June; and

the first allocations have been provided to six local authorities from the £15 million funding allocated to help the highest priority areas manage surface water flood risk. Progress on implementing the first round as well as next steps on the remaining funds will be announced later this summer.

The Pitt progress report, published on 25 June this year, details the significant progress the Government have made in implementing the recommendations contained in Sir Michael Pitt’s report on the 2007 summer floods. The report comes six months after Sir Michael Pitt’s review, published in December 2008, in which he made 92 recommendations to improve the UK’s preparation for, management of and response to severe flooding.