To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to address river and flood defence asset maintenance in response to the report published by the National Audit Office, entitled Strategic Flood Risk Management, HC780, last month.
17 December 2014
Maintaining flood defence assets depends on a combination of capital and revenue funding. This Government is spending £3.2 billion on flood management and defences in this Parliament, which is a real terms increase and half a billion pounds more than in the previous five years.
We have committed a record level £2.3 billion capital funding right up until 2021. This is a real terms average increase in capital investment compared with the current spending review period and the long-term commitments will allow us to get better value for money. We have also provided an extra £70 million of revenue funding for the Environment Agency to maintain its defences: £35 million this year and £35 million next year, on top of the £5 million we had already committed in 2015/16 before the winter storms.
The National Audit Office report ‘Strategic Flood Risk Management’ was considered by the Public Accounts Committee on 24 November. The Government will respond to the Committee’s recommendations in early 2015.