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MPs Criticise Government For Lack Of Flood Defence Construction

A number of MPs have slammed the government for its failure to build adequate flood resilience.

A report published by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has criticised the government’s ‘reactive’ approach and insists that not enough has been done to protect the communities most at risk of flooding.

In particular, the report cited a lack of long-term planning in place for flood prevention and has urged the government to keep up with steady spending each year on flood defences.

The committee argues that this approach would be better then the current system of fluctuating spending, and urged funding to be sustained in order to maintain the flood defences that are already in place as well as investing in new systems.

The report has been produced in the wake of the severe storms that hit the UK between December 2015 and January 2016, which caused significant flood damage in Wales and the North of England, as well as some parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Between them, Storms Frank, Eva and Desmond resulted in an estimated £1.3 billion worth of damage and flooded 16,000 households.

The Government says it is committed to protecting 300,000 properties in this parliament by spending a further £2.3 billion on the construction of new defences.

However, the EAC says it is ‘sceptical’ about whether this will be achieved as it relies on optimistic efficiency forecasts.

Mary Creagh MP, chair of the committee, said that the government’s ‘reactive’ approach to flooding is not good enough as flooding is expected to get even worse and occur more often over the next few years.

She added that the communities hardest hit by flooding deserve more certainty about future flood defence plans from the government.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs responded by saying that the review on national flood resilience will be published in the near future.

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024