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Flooding: Grant Schemes

Volume 682: debated on Thursday 15 October 2020

What steps his Department is taking to help ensure grant schemes are available to (a) homes and (b) businesses affected by flooding. (907592)

For localised flooding, we expect local authorities to have established contingency measures. In exceptional circumstances, the Government activate their flood recovery framework, which was last triggered following the severe flooding in February 2020. It is designed to support communities affected by meeting immediate recovery needs and comprises the community recovery grant, the business recovery grant, council tax discount schemes and business rate relief schemes. Additionally, the Government may activate a property flood resilience recovery scheme.

The beautiful market town of Marlow sits adjacent to the Thames and is also on a floodplain. Can my hon. Friend assure the House that we will be fit for the future when it comes to flood defences?

I would like to give my hon. Friend every assurance that we have been working extremely hard on this. The Government have doubled their funding in the next flood defence programme to £5.2 billion —more than ever before—which will better protect 336,000 properties. In the summer, we allocated £170 million to shovel-ready flood defence projects, and we have another £200 million for some innovative projects, because we realise that the demands are changing with climate change. That is why the new flood policy statement that the Secretary of State and I have worked on sets out a holistic approach to tackling this changing canvas, and nature-based solutions will be a big part of that.