MPs want rise in flood funding

3rd July 2014

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Adaptation


Donald McArthur

The government must increase funding for critical maintenance of flood defences if it is to avoid a repeat of the damage to homes and businesses caused by last winter's floods, MPs have warned.

In a report on the floods that affected large parts of England in 2013–14, the environment, food and rural affairs committee called for fully funded plans to address the backlog of dredging and watercourse maintenance, as well as to maintain manmade flood defences.

The committee received evidence on dredging and concluded that it can be beneficial in certain circumstances, and as part of a portfolio of measures. It warned, however, that dredging should not be seen as an all-purpose solution and that, where appropriate, the benefits need to be sustained through routine maintenance.

Committee chair Anne McIntosh said regular work to dredge and keep rivers clear is “exactly what gets squeezed out when budgets are tight” and asked the government to recognise the importance of maintenance and put it on equal footing with building new defences. The report also highlighted the importance of including local knowledge in flood prevention and mitigation planning.

MPs supported the devolution of maintenance activity to internal drainage boards and to local landowners where possible. Turning to funding cuts for the Environment Agency, the committee said it was essential that these do not lead to unintended consequences where money is redirected to one operational area to the detriment of another. It also called for reassurance from Defra that frontline flood jobs at the agency would not be cut.

The committee identified the current split between capital and revenue budgets as a major barrier to targeting funding in line with local priorities, advising that adopting a total expenditure approach to funding would allow more flexibility.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close