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Flooding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:14 pm on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1:14 pm, 4th March 2020

My hon. Friend makes an important point.

Secondly, after the 2014 floods, another review was led by Oliver Letwin. It led to a number of further improvements, including the establishment of a new national flood response centre, based out of the Cabinet Office, to ensure that cross-government decisions on operational matters were taken expeditiously. The review also led to improved flood forecasting capabilities.

Thirdly, because there were concerns that some local authorities were better prepared than others to meet the challenge of flood response, in 2018 the Cross review recommended that every local authority should have a formal plan of action to respond to flood risk in its area.

The substantive recommendations in all three of those reviews have been implemented, and it is because they have been implemented that the response on the ground to these extraordinary weather events has been so effective and rapid. The Government amendment to the motion therefore recognises and corrects what might be an oversight in the Opposition motion, which is to recognise what has been done in response to previous reviews.

The Government amendment also corrects another omission from the Opposition motion, relating to funding. Climate change means that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent.