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

This is clearly an important issue to people right across the country. Inevitably, there will be limits to the amount of money that can be put in. However, I would draw to the hon. Gentleman's attention the fact that in 1997 we spent about £300 million on flood defences, whereas we are now spending double that—£600 million—and it will go up by another £200 million over the next couple of years. Significant extra investment is being put in. I have no doubt that it will never be enough to meet every single scheme that is proposed. However, as I said to Paul Holmes who raised this in relation to his constituency, we must try to ensure that our finances are spent where they can have best effect and where they can protect people who are most at risk. I have no doubt that that assessment will be ongoing.