Flood Prevention

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th November 2001.

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Photo of Mr Jonathan Sayeed Mr Jonathan Sayeed Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to implement the recommendations of the National Audit Office to increase levels of investment in capital and maintenance in preparation for floods; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Operational responsibility for flood alleviation measures rests with local operating authorities, namely the Environment Agency, local authorities and Internal Drainage Boards. This Department provides funding on capital works and the provision available for flood and coastal defence has already been increased from last year's outturn of £66 million to £114 million in 2003–04. The operating authorities' maintenance and operational programmes are funded largely through local government funding arrangements. Currently some £264 million a year is provided through Standard Spending Assessments which are largely supported by central grant and non-domestic rate income. Further increase in both funding streams will be considered in the Spending Review 2002 process.

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