Somerset mud on their hands.

David Cameron has finally admitted that he made the wrong decisions on flood protection funding. Even with the funding that has been restored, less money will be available for flood protection this year than when the Government was elected in 2010.

Maria Eagle MP, Shadow Environment Secretary

floodedsomerset.JPG

David Cameron has finally admitted that he made the wrong decisions on flood protection funding. Even with the funding that has been restored today, less money will be available for flood protection this year than when the Government was elected in 2010. No matter which way Ministers spin the figures, the truth is that they didn’t take the threat of flooding seriously and were caught asleep on the job by the recent severe weather.

The Government was also wrong to axe regular progress reports on implementing the recommendations of the Pitt Review, which Labour established after the 2007 floods. Ministers published what they described as a final progress report in January 2012, despite 46 recommendations not having been implemented in full. Some specific recommendations, such as establishing a Cabinet Committee on improving the country’s ability to deal with flooding, were wrongly rejected altogether. The Prime Minister should reinstate regular reports on implementing the Pitt Review conclusions, with a first update presented to parliament by the end of this month.

1. The Government cut funding for flood protection from £670 million in 2010/11 to £576 million in both 2013/14 and 2014/15. Today’s decision to partially restore some of this reduced funding leaves flood protection funding still £63.5 million below 2010 levels (even without taking into account inflation).

 

Defra (capital & revenue)

Paid to LLFAs

EA (Revenue)

EA, LA & IDB (Capital)

Total

Budget reduction on 2010 level

Restored funding

Revised Total

2010/11

18.5

-

291.6

360.0

670.1

-

-

-

2011/12

3.4

21.0

287.9

260.7

573.0

97.1m

-

-

2012/13

3.2

36.0

268.0

269.1

576.3

93.8m

-

-

2013/14

7.9

36.0

238.9

293.8

576.6

93.5m

30.0

606.6

2014/15

9.2

35.7

226.4

343.8

615.1

55m

100.0

715.

Sources: ‘Defra Funding for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in England’ (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

January 2014:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271621/flood-coastal-erosion-funding.pdf

Updated on 6 February 2014: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/277910/flood-coastal-erosion-funding.pdf  

2. Labour commissioned the Pitt Review into the severe floods of 2007. The current government axed regular progress reports on implementation of its 92 recommendations in January 2012 despite 46 still being badged as ‘on-going’ and many with no planned completion date.

At the time of that final update, the recommendations that had not been implemented in full included:

  • All of the recommendations on ‘knowing where and when it will flood’;
  • 6 of the recommendations on ‘reducing the risk of flooding’;
  • 10 of the recommendations on ‘being rescued and cared for during an emergency’;
  • 7 of the recommendations on ‘maintaining power supplies’.

The Government decided not to take forward recommendations to set up a Cabinet Committee on improving the country’s ability to deal with flooding or a National Resilience Forum.

SourceThe Government’s Response to Sir Michael Pitt’s Review of the summer 2007 Floods Final Progress Report (27 January 2012)

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69489/2012-01-31-pb13705-pitt-review-progress.pdf

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