government’s announcement of £2.3bn investment in flood
defences has to be welcomed by everyone in Somerset
but the National Audit Office have reported that flood defence spending
has been cut - in real terms - by 10% since 2010.
Committee on Climate Change (CCC) - an independent
body that advises the UK government - also welcome the government’s
announcement but says that maintenance of existing defences are
Only a quarter
of Britain’s flood defences are being maintained fully. The
degradation to the other three-quarters of defences will have to
be replaced at greater expense in the future.
the CCC, the Environment Agency now had 800 fewer flood risk management
staff than it did in 2010-11.
with the government’s £2.3bn announcement is that it
includes an assumed £600 million from the ‘partnership
funding programme’ and therefore there have to be questions
asked about whether that amount of money will ever materialise.
funding programme’ includes money from local councils and
private businesses. It was supposed to raise £140 million
in the life of this parliament but has failed miserably to achieve
anything like that.
will ensure that sea levels continue to rise – flood protection
is an issue for the foreseeable future and not for just before an