Flood Control

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are available for those who have been affected by flooding to enhance protection of their properties; and what discussions he has had with (a) local authorities, (b) the Environment Agency and (c) others (i) to identify available funding for flood protection and (ii) to increase the rate of take-up.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

There are numerous ways of reducing the damage that flooding causes at individual properties. Resistance measures slow down or stop ingress of water by putting barriers across air-vents, service points and doors. Examples include door-boards, airbrick covers and one-way valves for sewage outlets. Resilience measures limit the damage and disruption that occurs when water does get in. Examples include using concrete/tiled floors and waterproof lime-based plaster, replacing MDF kitchens with stainless steel ones, and raising the level of electric sockets.

As part of the Government's Making Space for Water programme, we have been exploring what support we can offer to households in high risk areas who will not benefit from a community scheme. £28 million has been set aside in the recent comprehensive spending review settlement to fund work to help communities adapt to increasing risk of flooding and coastal erosion.

In collaboration with the Environment Agency and some local authorities, we have funded six pilots (£500,000) to examine the feasibility of developing a grant scheme for householders on flood resilience. These pilots have just completed and we are expecting final reports shortly.

As part of this work, the Environment Agency is investigating the development of a web-based information resource, providing a route-map on different sources of advice for flood resilience options for individual properties. This would be open to members of the public, including builders.

We have also been working with the insurance industry, as part of the Statement of Principles review (see earlier submission), to look at what insurers can do to promote the use of household-level measures and in particular resilient repair.

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