Flooding (England)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 9th July 2007.

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Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party 3:31 pm, 9th July 2007

The right hon. Gentleman makes a telling point about the effect of repeat flooding on households. Having recovered from one flooding episode, there can be nothing worse than to be faced with the same circumstances again. I entirely understand that. On the flood scheme priorities, I will speak to my right hon. Friend the Environment Secretary about these issues. The matter of farmers holding water on land has been brought to my attention. It may well be that more can be done with innovative planning schemes and by finding different ways for the water to be held or to be discharged harmlessly, rather than causing the flooding problems that we have seen. We will certainly look into that. The right hon. Gentleman raises the issue of the various capping criteria and whether there is the possibility of some leeway. That will have to be considered as and when we get to that position. I hope that we do not get to that position, and no doubt the right hon. Gentleman shares that hope.