Significant funding will continue to be spent by Government next year in reducing
the risks from flooding and coastal erosion, Climate Change and Environment
Minister Ian Pearson announced today.
The Environment Agency will receive a total of £436 million to fund their
flood management activities - which includes, for example, building and maintaining
defences as well as work on flood forecasting and warning - which more than
restores the reduction made to the Agency's budget in 2006/2007. Their allocation
in 2006/2007 is
On top of the EA's risk management programme Defra funding will also support
local authority and Internal Drainage Board projects worth
£67 million - including new projects at Weston-super-Mare and Ross-on-Wye.
Mr Pearson said:
"This announcement is good news for the many communities such as those
at Nottingham, Wisbech, Weston-super-Mare and Ross-on-Wye who are set to benefit
from continued Government investment in managing the risks of flooding and coastal
erosion. Some £4.5 billion will have been invested across England in total
on flood and coastal erosion measures since 1996/7.
"We already have a full programme of works across the country which is
currently on course to protect more than 100,000 people and their homes over
the current spending period. This high level of funding is being used to good
effect. As these projects are completed over the coming years many new projects
will start. Government funding for future years will be considered carefully
as part of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review.
"As part of today's decision, we will also be funding longer term analysis
of the challenges posed by flooding and coastal erosion on our coastlines -
a challenge that will only intensify as a result of climate change.
"But the risks of flooding can't be eliminated totally which is why managing
this risk is much more than just building defences. That's why we must adapt
to climate change and improve our resilience to flooding."
Writing to local authorities announcing the funding allocations, Mr Pearson
also outlined the Government's wider strategy in managing flooding and coastal
erosion. He outlined the important contribution that local authorities could
make in preparing and planning for flood emergencies through local resilience
fora and working with the Environment Agency. Defra is playing a major role
in the Cabinet Office led 'Capabilities Programme' which is working to build
the capability of all key players across the country to respond to a range of
serious emergencies, including flooding.
Mr Pearson also stressed the role that local authorities can play in ensuring
that inappropriate development does not take place in flood and coastal erosion
risk areas. The Government has recently reinforced this message through publication
of Planning Policy Statement 25.
The Government has been working with the Environment Agency and Local Government
Association representatives to develop a suite of Outcome Measures for flood
and coastal erosion risk management. Defra this week launched a formal consultation
on these, along with proposals for a prioritisation process to be used in determining
allocations for the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 period.
Posted 4th January 2007