To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Environment Agency is receiving adequate funding to prevent flooding in smaller conurbations in Oxfordshire.
The Government is investing £2.6 billion between April 2015 and March 2021 to better protect the country from flooding and coastal erosion. This includes over 1,500 schemes, which will improve protection for 300,000 homes in that period. The Environment Agency (EA) works in partnership to get the best value for money from Government funding. Partnership funding helps schemes to go ahead, reducing the risk of flooding for homes and businesses.
In Oxfordshire, the EA have constructed two schemes (Benson Weir works and Northway and the Marston Flood Alleviation Scheme) since April 2015, which received £8.4million of funding and reduce flood risk to 108 homes. The EA also mitigates flood risk through routine maintenance and clearance of waterways. In Oxfordshire last year the EA spent £1million through a maintenance programme, which focuses on communities with high flood risk. The EA’s environment programme, which includes projects such as Natural Flood Management, has spent a further £650k since April 2015.
The planned Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme will cost £150million and will be paid for by a combination of Government and partnership funding. It will reduce flood risk to all properties affected by the Thames in Oxford.