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

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the events of the past couple of weeks have in everybody's terms been unprecedented. It is inevitable that whatever the defences we had put in place some would be breached in such circumstances. As I have explained, a significant amount of extra investment has already been made in flood defences, and even more will be put in during the next couple of years.

Rightly, the right hon. Gentleman calls for urgent action. We all want action to be taken as quickly as possible, but it is important that extra investment is targeted at the areas where it will have the most effect, and where we will get the best value for money. It is without doubt that there is a significant amount of investment, which I hope will help in future, but it would be tempting fate for any Minister to stand at this Dispatch Box and say that we could have prepared for what has been a series of unprecedented events.