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Enivornment Secretary Andrea Leadsom outlines flood prevention strategy

Photo: PA

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has outlined her plans for flood prevention in the Government's National Flood Resilience Review.

The plans include £12.5 million funding for new temporary flood defences ahead of this winter.

The funding comes after a review which was set up in the wake of severe flooding last winter which led to a bill of over a billion pounds.

£1.3bn
was the cost for dealing with flooding last winter.

The review includes:

  • £12.5 million for new temporary defences, such as barriers and high volume pumps, at seven locations around the country. By this winter, the Environment Agency (EA) will have four times more temporary barriers than last year.
  • Utility companies’ commitment to increase flood protection of their key local infrastructure, such as phone networks and water treatment works, so they are resilient to extreme flooding.
  • A new stress test of the risk of flooding from rivers and the sea in England. For the first time, Met Office forecasts of extreme rainfall scenarios will be linked with Environment Agency modelling to provide a new assessment of flood risk.
A view of the Ulls Water in Glenridding, Ullswater, during Storm Frank Credit: PA

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

Last winter we saw just how devastating flooding can be. This review sets out clear actions so we are better prepared to respond quickly in the event of future flooding and can strengthen the nation’s flood defences. Work is already underway towards £12.5 million of new temporary defences stationed around England, better protection for our infrastructure and new flood modelling that makes better use of data and technology. We are absolutely committed to reducing the risk of flooding by investing £2.5bn up to 2021 so we can help protect families, homes and businesses this winter.

– Andrea Leadsom

The results of the review will also be used to plan investment in flood defences after 2021.

An additional £1bn will also be spend on maintaining defences, officials said.

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency added:

We worked closely with the Government on this review. I welcome these plans setting out how the country can become more resilient to flooding in future. The extra funding will help us to do even more for local communities so that we can better protect homes and businesses and respond even more rapidly and flexibly when extreme weather strikes. Managing flood risk is everyone’s responsibility. Find out if you are at risk, and how to protect yourself, on the GOV.UK website. With the evidence of the National Flood Resilience Review, Government will now turn its attention to investment after 2021, making sure funds are directed where they are needed most. This builds on the £2.5bn already being invested between 2015-2021 to strengthen our flood and coastal defences, as well as spending £1bn on maintaining the nation’s flood defences over this Parliament. It was also announced this week that the government has already paid out over £1million to more than 180 flood-hit farmers to help their business recovery after last winter’s storms. The government has approved more than £9 million worth of applications for funding, helping over 1,000 farmers across Northern England as part of the Farming Recovery Fund. Following the National Flood Resilience Review, the Government is launching four new trailblazing projects to develop, test and accelerate new ways of managing the environment; this will include a project in Cumbria, which focuses on natural flood management strategies and up-to-date modelling and data tools.

– James Bevan

You can access the full governmental review here.